The explanations given by the Home Republicans for his or her rejection of the invoice mix a lot of what we have come to anticipate from as we speak’s GOP, specifically lies and hypocrisy. Home minority chief Kevin McCarthy summed up the social gathering line when he falsely declared on Fox Information that, “That is speculated to be a Covid invoice. Solely 9% of it goes to Covid.” This baseless 9% declare was repeated by quite a few different Home Republicans to justify callously turning their backs on Individuals in want.
McCarthy and these different Republicans should know that the 9% quantity is a lie provided that truth checkers ripped it to shreds as deceptive within the days earlier than Saturday’s vote. These Republicans dishonestly declare that simply 9% goes to battle the pandemic as a result of solely $160 billion of the $1.9 trillion bundle instantly funds vaccinations, testing and different particular virus containment efforts. However each American must is aware of this invoice additionally seeks to handle the financial ache Covid-19 has wrought upon tens of millions by together with other healthcare spending like extending paid sick go away and subsidizing insurance coverage protection for many who’ve misplaced their jobs.
At the moment, there are greater than 19 million Americans receiving some type of unemployment help. This previous Thursday, 730,00 Americans filed for first time unemployment claims — nearly four times the 200,000 common claims filed per week pre-Covid-19. Given the unemployment spike and enterprise closures attributable to the virus, tens of millions of Individuals report not having enough food to eat, together with a distressing spike in youngsters going to mattress hungry.
There is a straight line between the Covid-19-related financial downturn and the roughly six million extra Individuals who utilized for meals help in 2020 — a 17% improve from the 12 months earlier than. (For the file, 10 Senate Republicans did provide their very own relief bill, nevertheless it was lower than one third of the quantity of Biden’s Covid-19 plan — with decrease direct stimulus funds, solely $20 billion for college reopening, versus Biden’s $130 billion, and no rental help assist, amongst different issues. Consequently, Biden rejected it.)
The Covid-19 aid invoice handed Saturday addresses that and extra by together with roughly $420 billion for the $1,400 direct stimulus funds to people, plus $350 billion to increase unemployment advantages — a few of which is because of finish in March. One other $130 billion — 7% of the invoice — is funding for public faculties to re-open. There’s additionally funding to broaden healthcare subsidies for the Inexpensive Care Act, an additional $47 billion in small enterprise assist through varied applications, $19.1 billion to assist folks pay their again hire, elevated funding for meals stamps advantages and extra.
I am positive you get the concept. Overwhelmingly, the funds are to assist Individuals whose lives have been turned the wrong way up by the pandemic. And the Home Republicans must know that.
Then there’s the overwhelming stench of hypocrisy emanating from the GOP’s opposition to this aid invoice by claiming it should add to the deficit. These included the identical politicians who supported the 2017 GOP tax reduce that’s projected by the Congressional Price range Workplace to increase the national debt by $1.9 trillion by 2028. Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, for instance, gleefully supported the 2017 reduce however now opposes the Covid-19 aid invoice as a result of it is “a debt junkie.”
Whereas the Covid-19 aid invoice is focused to assist Individuals hit hardest by the pandemic, the 2017 tax reduce helped the wealthy over the center and decrease class. In actual fact, by 2027 that GOP reduce is expected to result within the high 1% receiving roughly 83% of the tax reduce advantages if there aren’t any adjustments to the legislation earlier than then. This GOP boondoggle for the wealthy, which individuals like Rep. McCarthy bought to the American folks with false statements like “every American” would get a tax reduce if the invoice is handed, additionally included different goodies for the wealthy comparable to elevating the exemption for property tax from $11 million to $22 million.
Why would Republicans oppose this desperately wanted Covid-19 aid? It seems the Republican Social gathering’s personal chilly calculations have concluded that opposing this measure is nice for them politically. Regardless of 68% of Americans supporting the Biden Covid-19 aid invoice in a latest Quinnipiac ballot, GOP Home representatives apparently consider that their base would somewhat have the “purple meat” of combating Democrats than the precise purple meat that this aid invoice may present them the funds to afford. Tragically for our nation, as we speak’s GOP is extra involved with rejecting Democratic proposals than with serving to Individuals in want.
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