Op-ed: There is US government infighting over trillions in COVID-19 relief while world suffers

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (CARES Act) is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. It helped provide a basic source of income for Americans as the pandemic started and ensured a safe and speedy recovery in case of a recession.

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Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic has begun, the world is facing a financial crisis, worse than the one in 2008. Unemployment numbers are climbing, the poor are getting poorer, and most governments do not have the money to send out stimulus checks like the United States. Though, it too, is facing its own problems.

CARES Act and its enhancement 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (CARES Act) is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. It helped provide a basic source of income for Americans as the pandemic started and ensured a safe and speedy recovery in case of a recession.

Americans have very less cash left in their pockets. All except the top one tenth of one per cent who are growing richer by the day, selling stocks beforehand and frequently filling their pockets before their employees.

The fourth report of the Congressional oversight commission released on August 21, 2020 found that the bill “gave 159 million Americans new economic impact payments (i.e. stimulus checks)—most at $1,200 per individual with higher amounts for those claiming children as dependents. Federal pandemic unemployment compensation, also created by the CARES Act, provided a supplemental weekly benefit of $600 on top of a state’s basic unemployment weekly benefit, which was more than pre-pandemic unemployment benefits. With this aid, real disposable personal income rose by 11.5% in the second quarter of 2020”.

Read more: Biden castigates Trump for ‘walking away’ as pandemic wreaked havoc in the US

In May, after it was clear that the pandemic was here to stay, the United States House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act. It was introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) on May 12, 2020. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (H.R. 6800) is a proposed legislation acting as an enhancement to the CARES Act. It plans to provide $1200 in a stimulus check per individual.

HEALS Act

There would be about $290 billion to support small businesses and extended paid leaves. Currently, the bill is only passed by the House and is sitting on leader McConnell`s (R-KY) desk, who refuses to pass It. For this very reason, Senate Republicans have aimed at their own bill such as the HEALS Act which basically is a 1T dollar package reducing unemployment benefits to $200 per week, instead of the CARES Act’s benefit of $600 per week. This, of course, has given rise to disagreements within Senate Republicans and the White House on the size and price of the matter.

Now, most Americans have very less cash left in their pockets. All except the top one tenth of one per cent who are growing richer by the day, selling stocks beforehand and frequently filling their pockets before their employees.

Read more: US leads in pouring funds into atomic arsenal despite worst-hit by COVID-19

Congress has the power to change that, or at least improve it but, Capitol Hill is in such a deep divide before the election that a new stimulus deal will be almost impossible. Furthermore, the President halted negotiations between the speaker and his representative, the Secretary of the Treasury last week. This caused additional confusion after he agreed to sign a new deal by an executive order.

It is, therefore, evident that Republicans, too oppose the deal but for their own selfish reasons and thus, not because of the will to provide the American people assistance.

In a tweet, Speaker Pelosi, said, “We want to have an agreement. Yet, Republicans refuse to ensure that such an agreement puts #FamiliesFirst.”

Within the Democratic party, people are starting to divide over the speaker`s stance on many issues in the bill proposed by Leader McConnell. Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), said in a tweet, “How can anyone read these headlines and not act. I can’t look my constituents in the eye as they’re evicted, laid off, and forgotten, and promise a deal down the road. The reality is here. We need to get the deal done.” He is just one of the few influential democrats pushing the Speaker to accept the 1.8T deal so Americans get their money and do not sink into poverty.

Read more: Coronavirus exposes the weaknesses in global health systems

Within the GOP, according to multiple sources, Senate Republicans blasted the $1.8 trillion. In a conference call with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), emphasized that a potential agreement would divert attention from the Supreme Court nomination, which should be the focus for both the White House and Senate Republicans. It is, therefore, evident that Republicans, too oppose the deal but for their own selfish reasons and thus, not because of the will to provide the American people with assistance.

Personally, I agree with the speaker. She does effectively make her case against the small-aimed deal. There is a chance that people go back to the speaker if this skinny deal is passed, and ask for more money. At that point, she will have less options in her hands. So, think of her as a savior and side with her, she is doing it for you.

Juan Abbas is a freelance writer for the Daily Times. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.


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