Finally, Relief – The Wednesday Politics Thread

This upcoming Friday, the House will finally vote on the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that, after much debate, passed in pieces out of individual committees before being packaged into one giant bill by the House Budget Committee.

The House Democratic Relief Bill will tackle the most pressing economic components Americans are presently struggling with, extend help to wobbling and more directly-hit sectors, significantly broaden aid to state and local governments, expand vaccination rollout, and is considered as the grounding foundation for the Biden-Harris Administration’s long-term recovery strategy for the country.

Beyond the stimulus checks – where individuals making less than $75,000 annually, children and adult dependents (including disabled adults and college students), as well as married couples of a combined income less than $150,000 annually, will each be receiving the promised balance payment of $1,400 – the current legislation would bump unemployment benefits from $300 per week to $400 and extend the deadline until August 29 (presently set to expire on March 14).

Also significantly tackled is child poverty where tax credits are raised from $2,000 to $3,000, making 17-year-old parents eligible, setting credit at $3,600 for parents of children under 6 years of age, and those credits will be fully refundable for low-income households (presently set for only one year, but Democrats are expected to extend them down the line). Funding for K-12 schools is set at around $130 billion and targets reducing class sizes, improving ventilation, providing personal protective gear, hiring more janitors. And everything else that deeply outrages Republicans that would meaningfully address child poverty is also included in the bill, from nutrition assistance, to housing, to workers optional paid sick leave, to childcare health insurance subsidies.

As promised, the package addresses funding at the federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal levels to increase vaccine rollout with specifics to make the process more accessible to underserved communities, and in order to thwart tax increases and service cuts, it also includes funding of $350 billion to state and local governments.

The bill is so significant that the majority of Republicans, who for far too long have been the party of obstructionism and fiscal responsibility for Democrats only, find it quite frankly revolting. Many Senate Republicans are suddenly rushing to write their own bills, proposing cuts to social safety nets such as SNAP under the pretense of suddenly caring about child poverty (after coldly voting to significantly contribute to increasing it), as well as raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2025 instead of $15.

Now that House Democratic Leadership announced it will vote on the bill this upcoming Friday, expecting it to then head to the Senate before landing on President Biden’s desk by March 14, everyone should brace themselves for more Republican half-assed and dumb-assed bill proposals to magically appear, all under the guise of bipartisanship, followed by harrowed desperate screams for unity anytime Democratic Leadership refuses to budge or point out obvious discrepancies. Expect haggling, misleading clickbait headlines where the lede is buried in the third paragraph, and for attacks to be shifted away from the Party of White Supremacy and Insurrections and to be instead heavily put on the shoulders of the Party of Women and BIPOC. Basically, a lot of white noise.

And as the Democratic Party has a narrow majority in the Senate to pass the desperately needed bill, it is more important than ever to not to be swayed by that white noise stoking the very and particularly deeply ingrained tilt to protect white supremacy. No matter if that white noise is coming at you from conservative voices, tokenized BIPOC grifting for crumbs off the white-supremacy table monetizing that tilt, or Outrage Merchants masquerading as leftist political punditry, your weapons of choice are knowledge and curiosity for understanding historical context and holding people accountable for their lies. You cannot miss how the very propagandists who for months told you that Joe Biden had no policy platform, made no promises, and only campaigned on not being Trump, are now accusing him of not keeping campaign promises and upholding the status quo. It is on everyone fighting for meaningful progress to stop falling for the same grifters and the same lies meant to emotionally weaponize conditional support to the Democratic Base; because truth be told, they couldn’t keep fooling the same group of people if they didn’t believe they were smart enough to not keep falling for same repeated lies in the first place.