Thursday, February 25, 2021

Republicans Unite Against Providing COVID Relief [UPDATED]


Headline: "GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package"

To those that have been suffering from the economic catastrophe brought on by malicious sociopath and pathological liar Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump's willful downplaying and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic when it arrived in the U.S., remember that headline. Remember that the Republican / Trump Party has almost without exception closed ranks in opposition to the relief package, which has support from 76% of the public (and 60% of Republicans) and everyone from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, to the AFL-CIO, to Republican mayors and governors, to think tanks and economists from left to right. The House is poised to vote on the $1.9 trillion package tomorrow. Here's the article's cursory summary of the bill:

"The overall bill would provide millions of Americans with $1,400 direct payments to help them weather the pandemic that’s stalled much of the economy for a year and killed half a million people. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax cuts or payments for many families with children."

It takes sheer cruelty and selfishness to deny your fellow citizens relief in extending unemployment benefits, extending loans to struggling small businesses, and providing resources to state and local governments to keep hospitals open, schools safe, and public safety employees on the job. Will voters remember that headline and the sentiments behind it in 2022, 2024 and beyond? It's possible, but not assured at all.

Fortunately, the budget reconciliation process gives the Dems the power to pass it without Rethug support by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate. Perhaps today, the Senate parliamentarian is determining whether the popular raise in the minimum wage to $15 phased in over 4 years can be included in the reconciliation bill. Using the relief package to raise the minimum wage has been opposed by conservative Dems Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ). The main objective is to get money out before it's too late for millions of Americans, something the despicable party of Trump ("it is what it is") couldn't care less about.

UPDATE: The Senate parliamentarian ruled against including the $15 minimum wage provision in the COVID relief bill.

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