As the COVID-19 pandemic rages into the fall, Republicans in the White House and Congress are refusing to help American workers.
House Democrats on Thursday passed a coronavirus relief package that would restore the $600 weekly unemployment payments and create another round of $1,200 payments to American workers.
Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are refusing to pass the bill, saying the price tag is too high. The latest jobs report released Friday shows the economic recovery stalling, with permanent layoffs on the rise and 700,000 people dropping out of the workforce altogether.
The House bill passed without a single GOP vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the aid package "outlandish," and said the Senate won't take it up for a vote, according to Politico.
Republicans in Congress have been pushing for lower unemployment payments and less federal aid to state and local governments. Senate Republicans failed to pass a coronavirus relief bill in September, which would have created $300 weekly unemployment payments. Their bill did not include any direct payments to workers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on money for hard-hit workers. It's unclear whether Mnuchin will go against the White House's refusal to help Americans get through the pandemic unscathed.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are moving full speed ahead on the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, an anti-abortion zealot who does not support the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Republicans are pushing forward with Barrett's nomination, even though polls show the public does not believe a justice should be confirmed before the election.
A challenge to the ACA — better known as Obamacare — is currently before the Supreme Court. Barrett could vote to kill the landmark law, leaving millions without health insurance in the midst of the biggest public health crisis in decades.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.