July 24, 2017

Schumer And Pelosi Repackaged Clinton’s Ideas And Call Them Something New

The memories of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous campaign are still lingering in the minds of many Democrats. From a candidate under FBI investigation to no meaningful economic message, Democrats have plenty they’d like to forget. So, it should come as no surprise that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would want to announce a break with that failed past.

Today, they’ve attempted to do just that. Schumer and Pelosi are out with new op-eds in the New York Times and the Washington Post, respectively, announcing “A Better Deal” for Americans.

As part of their joint pitch, Schumer and Pelosi are promising “three new proposals” that “[represent] a renewed Democratic commitment to the hard-working men and women across the United States.” Yet far from offering “three new policies,” in reality Schumer and Pelosi are just offering three repackaged policies from Clinton’s failed campaign.

In Leader Pelosi’s op-ed she writes that the first new policy Democrats will offer is a new tax credit for employers to encourage apprenticeships:

“It is time to ignite a new era of investment in America’s workers, empowering all Americans with the skills they need to compete in the modern economy. We are calling for a new tax credit for employers to train and hire workers at a good wage, and a massive new national commitment to expanding apprenticeships and paid on-the-job training that advances their skills and careers.”

Yet all the way back in 2015, Hillary Clinton offered a plan that did exactly that:

“Campaigning in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday proposed a new tax credit for businesses that hire and train apprentices, an effort to increase employment of young adults… Her idea is to offer businesses a tax credit of $1,500 per apprentice, with extra incentives for hiring young adults.”

Next, Schumer writes that Democrats will introduce new rules regulating prescription drug prices:

“Right now, there is nothing to stop vulture capitalists from egregiously raising the price of lifesaving drugs without justification. We’re going to fight for rules to stop prescription drug price gouging and demand that drug companies justify price increases to the public. And we’re going to push for empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for older Americans.”

Once again, Hillary Clinton had very similar policy proposals in 2015:

“On Tuesday morning, the Clinton campaign detailed her proposal, and, intentionally or not, it reflected some of Mohammed’s recommendations. The main points include requiring health insurers to limit out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs at $250, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and letting Americans buy drugs from Canada and Europe, where prices are much lower.”

Finally, Schumer advocates new antitrust rules that will “allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers”:

“Right now our antitrust laws are designed to allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care. We are going to fight to allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers and to make it harder for companies to merge if it reduces competition.”

It should come as no surprise, that on this issue too, Hillary Clinton was there first. In 2016, Clinton wrote on her website that she would increase the power of the antitrust agencies to do exactly what Schumer advocates in his op-ed today:

“Appoint strong leadership at our antitrust agencies. Clinton will appoint strong enforcement officials at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and FTC who have demonstrated a willingness to take on anti-competitive behavior, and ensure competition policy is a focus within the executive branch. She will increase the resources and staffing at the antitrust agencies so they have the bandwidth for research, review, and aggressive enforcement. And she believes we should encourage building up jurisprudence that supports strong enforcement.”

As these similarities show, voters should not buy the hype that Pelosi and Schumer are offering anything new today. In fact, all they’ve done is reheated some cherry-picked Clinton proposals and rebranded them. What the Democrats’ messaging relaunch demonstrates is that rather than learning from the mistakes of 2016, Schumer and Pelosi are simply doubling down on the failed Hillary Clinton playbook.