First, Democrats in the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, with $3 trillion for unemployed Americans, small businesses, and state and local governments. Republicans said that was too much money for average Americans, and refused to even hold a vote in the Senate.
Mitch McConnell refused to even hold a debate on the HEROES Act for months, so Democrats in the House of Representatives gave them a compromise $2 trillion bill with a lot less money for unemployed people, but Republicans again said it was too much money for average Americans.
Finally, this month, Mitch McConnell laid his cards on the table. If unemployed Americans were going to get even one penny out of the Republican Party, they had to do something for the billionaires and corporations who fund the GOP. He needed bragging rights for his donors.
First, McConnell demanded that employers who force workers into situations where they get Covid, and executives who ran betting pools on which employees would die first, should be entirely exempt from lawsuits by families of dead employees.
Democrats, thankfully, said no.
But Americans are in a lot of pain right now, and repeated Republican efforts to prevent average Americans from getting any benefits at all were starting to hurt the chances for Purdue and Loeffler in the coming Georgia runoff election.
So the latest offer from Republicans is that they will give unemployed Americans and local governments 1/3 of what Democrats originally passed, in exchange for bringing back the "three martini lunch."
The "3 martini lunch" really has nothing to do with martinis: it's about the ability of very wealthy corporate executives to have taxpayers subsidize 100% of the cost of their meals in ultra-fancy restaurants like the ones in the Trump Hotels.
Business executives can only deduct 50% of some meals from their taxes, and are limited to "reasonable" meal costs. McConnell wants to lift the caps, so they can again treat themselves to $600 bottles of wine, like lobbyists regularly and famously bought for Speaker Paul Ryan.
But, again, they're only doing this compromise now because they're worried about the Georgia election. If Republicans hold the Senate, and VP Harris doesn't use her constitutional power as President of the Senate, this will probably be the last effort McConnell will allow.
From openly supporting Nazis and the Klan, to pushing trillions in tax breaks for billionaires, to trying to end corporate liability for dead and injured employees, to giving executives super high-end meals subsidized by taxpayers, Republicans have told us who they are.
Now, with Trump openly plotting a military coup in the White House, Republicans remain silent and complicit. Over 300,000 Americans are dead because of this complicity, and we continue to lose a 9/11's worth of Americans every day.
The GOP stands for death, disease, poverty, bigotry, violence, a police state, and stealing wealth from working-class Americans to give to billionaires and corporations who fund their campaigns. It's become the Party of soulless sellouts, and must either reform itself or die.