In the laborious era of the coronavirus there’s been a couple of bright slices of light recently, one of course, the vaccines, and the other a hard-accomplished COVID-19 relief bill passed this week by our near-worthless Congress, though, the paltry portion lies plainly on the side of shit-stamping Republicans.
Definite the divide as captured by this tweet of the day (h/t C&J):
If Democrats controlled the Senate:
– the cash payments would be $1200 not $600
– there would be $175 billion, not $25 billion, to help people pay the rent
– there would be flexible money for states and cities and bonus checks for frontline workers
Let’s win Georgia.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 21, 2020
An actual view of the COVID bill via Bess Levin this morning at Vanity Fair — GOP chuckles out the door:
If for some reason you were searching for the perfect distillation of Republicans’ priorities in the year 2020, over the weekend Mitch McConnell and his colleagues chose to deliver one so ridiculously on the nose that it probably offended the gods of satire.
It came in the midst of Congress’s $900 billion relief bill in the form of a trade Democrats had to make to get the GOP to pretend like they care at all about the millions of Americans currently suffering.
And if you guessed it involved tax breaks for corporations and perks for the kind of people who network over steak and booze-soaked lunches, you guessed right!
Yes, in the 5,593-page proposal released Monday, you’ll find a call for a “temporary allowance of full deduction for business meals,” applying to the cost of food and beverages purchased at a restaurant through 2022.
It’s a deduction Donald Trump has talked about for months, and while Republicans and the administration claim it’s all helping the devastated hospitality industry — “As you know, the president is concerned about restaurants, so we restored the deductibility of meal expenses for businesspeople,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC this morning — very few people are convinced.
“Republicans are nickel-and-diming benefits for jobless workers, while at the same time pushing for tax breaks for three-martini power lunches. It’s unconscionable,” said Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.
Three-martini lunches aside, the good news is that something is going to be passed, and something is better than nothing.
The bad news is that it’s not enough—the $600 check is presumably roughly what Trump spends on bronzer each month—and it’s not going to last:
The $900bn relief deal is 2nd largest in US history and will help a lot this winter.
-The delay caused 8 million to fall into poverty
-The aid doesn't last long, esp. for unemployed
-No direct state & local aid
-More $$ likely needed in 2021https://t.co/PCqe6KFAZK pic.twitter.com/kBhqjhmCKs
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) December 21, 2020
Again, a Democrat spells it out: ‘“This deal is not everything I want — not by a long shot,” said Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., a longstanding voice in the party’s old-school liberal wing. “The choice before us is simple. It’s about whether we help families or not. It’s about whether we help small businesses and restaurants or not. It’s about whether we boost (food stamp) benefits and strengthen anti-hunger programs or not. And whether we help those dealing with a job loss or not. To me, this is not a tough call.”‘
Follow the money:
“Tell me what you know…”