The Senate and White House have struck a deal on a $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill. The Washington Post reports.
A vote is scheduled later today. If it’s not accompanied by more hysterical partisan sniping by Tom Cotton, count me surprised.
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There’s money for states and hospitals; for a small business loan program, and for corporate bailout money with the stipulation demanded by Democrats that the money not go to corporations owned by Donald Trump, members of Congress or White House officials.
It will send $1,200 checks to many Americans and extend unemployment benefits for four months, a godsend in corporate-controlled Arkansas, where benefits are limited to 16 weeks.
The future in the House isn’t clear yet. The legislation has critics on left and right.
Media note: Too many news outlets, including the New York Times, bought the Republican talking point that the story was nutty Democratic resistance to speedy passage of great legislation. You could as easily have written Republicans were trying to steamroller a corporate lobby Christmas tree. Debate often produces better legislation with objectives of disparate players. That appears to be the case here.
UPDATE: Good comment from state Sen. Joyce Elliott, Democratic challenger to Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill.
“This is a big and important step—not a final step. Families receive checks, and workers are insured against layoffs. Democrats stood their ground, lived up to being ‘For the People,’ and because of that there’s oversight on loans and relief to the biggest businesses. Because of that we have more money for hospitals and more security for workers and families.
“Congress took a step toward securing people’s economic well-being, but Congress alone cannot ensure people’s physical well-being. Only the Trump Administration can marshal the resources of our entire government, call the country to action to produce the medical equipment states need to survive the virus at its worst. Only the Trump Administration can set a fair playing field for small and big states alike to survive this. The Trump Administration isn’t doing this.
“My fellow state legislators around the country are left to fight this alone, and that is not acceptable. We should be a nation of states, not states in conflict. This is why Arkansas needs a tested public servant fighting for us in Washington. I intend to be that public servant.”