By DANIEL FISHMAN
The Libertarian National Committee
The Libertarian Party calls on the Republicans and Democrats to become aware of the tremendous changes Americans are dealing with in their lives, and to make a similar change in the way Congress operates.
Firstly, it is critical that Congress allow remote voting immediately. In the absence of a functioning congress, the Executive branch has too much power. With members of both the House and Senate stricken, the need is urgent and logical. There are no technical issues that could not be overcome.
Secondly, Congress must put aside its constant game of position and opposition and recognize when they put things into bills that their opponents cannot live with, that they are hurting the American people.
Of course as Libertarians we’d prefer Congress stimulate the economy by removing regulations. We’d prefer Americans be given more money by telling them there’s no income tax this year. And we’d prefer the government completely get out of the process of handling the medical response, and let doctors and health care companies operate freely.
The Libertarian Party however recognizes that we cannot get the legislation we want passed in this political environment. And Republicans and Democrats must recognize the same political reality. Republicans and Democrats should meet with their separate bills, and then give the opposition a “line item veto” to reject the things they cannot live with.
It is clear that a majority of lawmakers of both parties and a majority of Americans support an emergency payment to every adult and extending the deadline for filing income taxes. Bringing a clean bill that did only those things to a vote would provide emergency relief to people, not bailouts to politically connected industries.
Whatever remains is the bill that can be passed today. It’s unclear what the best path forward is because our situation is changing daily. Yet Congress is in a unique situation where they can model a behavior they would like the citizens to repeat. When you cannot see how to get to the end of a problem, do the next right thing. A unified Congress passing the smaller things they can agree upon would be a message to the country that though we may not know how this will all turn out — we can make progress towards making things better.
The Libertarian Party calls on Republicans and Democrats to put aside the leveraging of the crisis for political gain, and to, for the sake of the American people, find the things they can agree upon and pass them immediately.
The country doesn’t need monolithic legislation because the people know that nothing is going to be solved overnight. The people need to see that progress is being made. And the people should rightly despise the villains who absent getting their politically divisive agenda passed, will block any other legislation that will provide relief.