The Senate passed the $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief 3.0 bill yesterday. It would appear that not many people are happy with it, including a lot of liberal Democrats. Socialist Dems are unhappy with the fact that the $15 an hour minimum wage didn’t make the cut, and there were more than a couple Democrats who questioned that when the bill comes back to the House of Representatives to be voted on with the Senate changes, if they would be able to support it. Seeing how the Democrats had two members vote against the original bill, they can only afford to lose three more to defection or the bill sinks.
So, what didn’t make the bill besides the minimum wage increase that would have cost 1.9 million jobs? Well, one thing is for sure…you may not be getting a check in the first place. In the original bill, the House sent to the Senate asking that individuals making $75,000-$100,000 a year or couples making more than $150,000-$200,000 a year be phased out. That got changed. Now if you made more than $80,000 last year as an individual or $160,000 as a couple, no check for you!
Also missing from the bill was $400 for continued unemployment benefits until August 29th. The Senate nixed that and made the amount $300 per week, with a tax-free cap of $10,200 until September 6th. But you’d have to make less than $150,000 per household in order to qualify for that.
The Senate saw fit to dump a couple of pork-barrel projects as well. One is in Chuck Schumer’s state, New York, where an upstate New York bridge between Canada and New York got zapped. Also getting the chopping block was a grant to build a $140 expansion of the BART (San Francisco’s subway system) in Nancy Pelosi’s home district.
And, while the states will still get the overblown $350 billion in “relief”, there are now new rules on how and when it can be spent. It can only be used to offset costs incurred through the end of 2024, and it can’t be used to offset tax cuts or to add to or start pension funds.
One thing the Senate did add in was an enhancement for folks who got laid off because of COVID and are now spending huge sums of money through COBRA, which is a form of insurance that you can get if you leave a company’s insurance program…but you have to pay the full ride of that premium plus a little extra. It’s allowing folks that got laid off and are on COBRA to get their healthcare bill subsidized 100% through the end of September.
While I still contend that today, the country is in a lull when it comes to Coronavirus, and probably doesn’t need as much stimulus as this bill provides, it still is a very wasteful bill. It rewards states like California and New York who have spent money on failed liberal programs, and gives them a huge bailout. It does some things to help people that actually NEED to get some help, and there are folks out there that do. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough in cutting the aid to folks who are either uneffected by COVID or don’t need the help.
There is one slice of good news that came out of the whole process. This should have been a slam dunk for Democrats. There shouldn’t have been any debate at all, and it could have been passed, as Joe Biden wanted it, in a week. The mere fact the first COVID relief last March took two days to pass, the second didn’t come until nine months later, and this bill that was supposed to happen “immediately” according to Biden took two weeks to pass. And that’s with the Democrats in charge. What that tells me is that the Dems are going to have a very difficult time passing any meaningful legislation before the end of this year, and next year is an election year…they probably won’t get to it at all then!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!