Folks have been fairly optimistic over the last few days about Congress passing another COVID-19 relief package to help individuals who lost their jobs and businesses thanks to shutdowns instituted to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
But it looks like a little gray rain cloud is about to ruin the good times, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrats are clashing over the issue of federal aid for state and local governments.
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“While Democrats hold the Paycheck Protection Program hostage over controversial state government bailouts, family businesses are closing their doors,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in floor remarks Thursday. “Our Democratic colleagues have not even let us pass non-controversial money to invest in vaccine distribution. Not unless the two parties settle a whole list of issues that are controversial the way they want.”
McConnell doubled down on his comments Friday, saying he offered to drop Republicans’ demand of liability protection for businesses in exchange for Democrats dropping their demand for “bailouts.”
The signal from McConnell, likely to tamp down on optimism congressional leaders have expressed in recent days, comes as Fox News is told that the bipartisan Senate coronavirus plan, sponsored by a group that includes Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. is just “talk.”
In some rather stranger news, it seems President Trump, Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are all pushing for a second round of direct stimulus checks to be sent to the American people.
Never would have thought you’d see those names together, right? We’re living in strange times, folks. Very, very strange times.
Aside from providing aid for businesses, the best thing we can do for people at this point is to open everything up and stop with the lockdown nonsense. We can’t afford to keep doing this. This is the best way, long term, to see economic recovery happen.