The Coronavirus continues its disruptions to the daily lives of people around the world. After a considerable amount of dawdling, the US has passed it’s first significant legislation to provide some relief to scared US citizens and residents. The legislation aims to provide free testing for COVID-19 even for the uninsured, two weeks of paid sick leave, increased unemployment benefits, expanded family leave as well as increased funds for Medicaid and food support programs such as food stamps.The total cost has not yet been finalized but some estimate the final cost to be somewhere around$100 billion, making it one of the largest spending packages in history.
The relief bill went through the House and was passed in the Senate 90-8. Why not everyone? Well, because Republicans are dicks. Mitch McConnell privately commented to other senators that they should “gag and vote for it anyway”and address their grievances in the next package. Real classy, Mitch!
Some did not, however “gag and vote for it anyway’. Some were major dicks, these fellows: Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).
Also Senator Rand Paul called undocumented immigrants on the Senate floor ‘non-people’ while arguing against extending child tax credits to the undocumented. Always good to other people in a time of crisis.
In any case, this relief package is what considered to be Phase 2 in an overall spending package aimed at combating the virus’ effects on the country. Phase 3 will be overseen by Senate Republicans, working closely with the Treasury Department so I imagine this is where all the industry bailout bullshit is gonna go. The White House is suggesting an additional $1 trillion to be added to mitigate the eCoNoMiC eFfeCtS of the virus.
While it’s no doubt wonderful news that this aid is actually coming through, I can’t help but think about the numbers being thrown around. $100 billion, a trillion?! Suddenly, money is no object. I don’t wanna hear any more about how expensive setting up a universal healthcare plan in the US would be. We have the money, we just lack the constitution to see it through.
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