Last week, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for the state Legislature to convene for a special session for what she claimed is for COVID-19 pandemic relief. A later press release from the Governor’s office lists multiple items she wants to be passed during the special session, including $194 million in direct unemployment assistance, $100 million in grants to small businesses, $15 million in emergency housing assistance, $5 million for “emergency food bank services,” a “$5 million for direct economic assistance to low-income residents, in the form of a one-time $750 disbursement per household, who did not receive an “economic impact payment” from the federal government,” and funding for the implementation of these initiatives.
Now, no one is against pandemic relief for hurting New Mexicans, but the $300 million Gov. Lujan Grisham claims will come from federal CARES Act money appears to be too little too late. Why is this money just now used to help suffering New Mexicans? And where did the other $1 billion appropriated by the federal government go?
Due to the Governor’s multiple and sporadic shutdowns, which have decimated communities and closed countless New Mexico businesses, not to mention infringing on constitutional rights, it’s no wonder New Mexicans desperately need relief. If businesses were allowed to safely open (while following CDC guidelines as applicable), there would be no need for more relief to hurting businesses because they could remain open. There would be no need for unemployment assistance since employers’ places of businesses would not be shuttered, and there would be no need for housing assistance because people would be able to keep their jobs and pay their rent with their paychecks from their employers (who are allowed to remain open).
The problems the Governor is trying to fix with a special session could have all been negated if she did not twice force the closure of our state, resulting in New Mexico being the most restrictive state in the union. The federal government did its part in providing pandemic relief through the CARES Act, but the states were responsible for disseminating funding to those most affected.
President Trump revolutionized the production of ventilators, personal protective equipment, vaccines, and other supplies necessary to fight the virus and provided each state with the tools required to combat the deadly COVID-19. Despite packing it full of pork, Congress passed the CARES Act — helping hurting Americans get through the pandemic with relief checks and other funds.
Like other states that are now doing well, both in health and economic strength, Gov. Lujan Grisham should have used the tools provided her by the White House and Congress to shepherd New Mexico through the pandemic.
However, during her time as governor, Lujan Grisham has scolded New Mexicans, targeted those not following her strict health orders with fines, and locked down businesses time and time again. During the Legislature’s first special session, she vetoed $318 million in federal dollars meant to help Native American tribes and local governments while keeping funding in the budget for her pie-in-the-sky $320 million socialist free daycare program.
Instead of trusting the people of New Mexico with the responsibility of utilizing all the help available and working as a community to stop the virus, she forced people into complete and total lockdown, resulting in people standing in lines for hours to buy groceries, families separated during the holidays, and countless businesses either fleeing to other states or closing for good, leaving economic devastation.
The Governor’s failure to govern during this pandemic shows her ineptitude as a leader, with a desire to accomplish her partisan games with a special session rather than trust the people of New Mexico to work as a community to stop COVID-19. But now, if a Republican member of the New Mexico House or Senate dares question Lujan Grisham’s late-in-the-game COVID-19 package, Radical Democrats led by Speaker Brian Egolf and the rabidly left-wing legislators will brand dissenters as opposing helping New Mexicans with relief before the Holidays.
Unfortunately, it’s the Democrats–led by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham–who have deprived New Mexicans of security and freedom ahead of the Holidays because they have sat on $300 million in federal relief while New Mexicans stood in bread lines, lost their jobs, lost loved ones due to the virus or suicide due to the lockdowns, and have been separated due to cruel restrictions.
Shame on the Governor for putting politics above people during this pandemic, and shame on her supporters who have wilfully and ignorantly given up their rights to a power-hungry tyrant, hell-bent on forging her own political career instead of helping the people of the Great State of New Mexico.