Perfect is the enemy of done

There is something for both liberals and conservatives not to like about the bipartisan proposal for $908 billion in new aid to Americans suffering from the COVID-19 epidemic. It is not what is in the plan but rather what is not in it.

Many Democrats want more aid for states included in the bill. Many Republicans want protection for companies and universities against liability lawsuits linked to the epidemic. Both provisions are in the compromise bill, but not to the extent their proponents want.

Everyone involved in crafting the compromise understood it was just that — an agreement by both sides to forego some things they wanted, in exchange for getting $908 billion in aid to a nation in need.

Leaders of the compromise coalition, including Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., emphasized their proposal was aimed at getting something enacted by eliminating arguments that already have delayed a new relief bill for months.

It seemed pretty straightforward — a good idea to tens of millions of Americans who understand the old warning that perfect is the enemy of done.

Yet here we are. Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill continue to argue about the relief bill, rather than merely accepting the bipartisan coalition’s plan and getting help to the American people.

Just do it, senators and representatives. Save the partisan bickering for another day — when fewer Americans are concerned more about survival than winning political games.


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