The Christmas spirit has settled in Washington. And not only because of the snowfall that has covered the northeast of the country in a silent white, but because for once Senator Bernie Sanders has managed to shake the consciences of his colleagues. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for congressmen to go home with their families to spend Christmas while millions of families in this country try to survive,” he warned.
Not without passing a new economic stimulus package that allows millions of people to celebrate Christmas knowing that aid is on the way. Normally, his words fell on deaf ears, but this time it happened differently. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who had drawn a red line without which he would not accept any economic stimulus bill that did not shield businesses from legal liability with respect to lawsuits from workers or customers who contracted the virus, has agreed to go through it. high. And the Democratic opposition, which was also unwilling to accept any law that did not contain aid for state governments, has decided to accept a law that only includes what they agree on.
In total, 900,000 million dollars that will help the distribution of the vaccine, will provide 330 million dollars in new loans to small and medium-sized companies, will extend unemployment coverage for ten weeks and will even serve to send each taxpayer who earns less of $ 75,000 a year a check for $ 600 – half of what they received last April.
It will be the second far-reaching law that attempts to alleviate the coronavirus crisis, but the fifth approved since March for different initiatives that included sick leave and free medical coverage for Covid-19 patients, among other things. The most important was Cares, an acronym for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act which synthesizes “I care about you.” It was a milestone, because the $ 2.2 trillion endowment represented the largest in US history, nearly three times the amount Barack Obama saved the junk mortgage crisis in 2009.
This time around, congressmen also need to show that they care about their taxpayers. No one will go on Christmas vacation today, as planned, until the fate of this bill is decided. Senate Republican leader John Thune assured Politico that his approval was “a real possibility”, something that was important to highlight because the country has become skeptical with the repeated attempts that have been made since September.
Donald Trump wanted it passed before the November 3 elections to hang that medal that Democrats were willing to give him if he accepted their conditions, but Republicans did not. For once what electoral greed failed to accomplish could come true with this last-minute effort to end the year with something to put on the Christmas table. In it there will be many empty seats, those of 310,000 deaths from Covid-19, and simple dishes, those of the 20 million people who receive social programs, although officially there are only 10.7 million unemployed.
The vaccine continues to be distributed through medical centers with shouts of joy, but that will not prevent a very cold winter that will add tens of thousands of deaths. Santa Claus has to arrive this time with something constant and sound. Legislative work will run through the weekend even if an agreement is reached today, and there are no guarantees that it will, because the fine print generates far more disputes than the big headlines.
Aid for cinemas and concert halls, attempts to limit the powers of the Federal Reserve or expand those of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the freezing of evictions are some of the many aspects that were muddying last night the negotiation. To the point that some Democrats thought it was all an attempt to sabotage the future government of Joe Biden by tying his hands. Christmas awaits, Americans too.