Put People First in the Next $850 Billion Stimulus Bill

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed a $750 stimulus package to help people get through the Coronavirus.

According to journalists at the Washington Post, Schumer’s ideas would:

“Expand unemployment insurance (probably also build on the sick leave provisions on last week’s House bill,) provide money for schools, public transportation, expand Medicaid funding, expand more investments in health care, provide loan assistance, and halt evictions and foreclosures, among other things.”

The Trump Administration is coming out with its own $850 billion proposals which include (wait for it) a payroll tax holiday (it does not help contracted or laid-off workers,) foreclosure protection, and aid for small, medium and large industries crippled by the Coronavirus like the airline industry.

The Senate, after taking the weekend off, still has to quickly approve the bipartisan House 6201 measure that passed last week. That legislation would provide free coronavirus testing, increase assistance in unemployment insurance, Medicaid, and Food Stamps. It would also provide paid sick and emergency leave to twenty percent of America’s workers.

Additional measures to help the American People include various proposals by public servants like Steve MnuchinObama Economic Advisor Jason Furman, Senators Mitt Romney, Tom Cotton, Cory Booker, Michael Bennet, Sherrod Brown, Representative Ro Khanna and Representative Tim Ryan to give each American a cash grant ranging from $1000 to $6000.

Other ideas concern directives to increase the supply of ventilators and other medical equipment.

Public service advocates are calling for additional monies to help the “11 million food-insecure children” in the country. Many of these children are not going to school because of closures. School officials across the country like those in Maricopa County, Arizona are devising schedules for families to get free and reduced meals but more will need to be done.

Governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo is asking for assistance from FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers to help set up emergency hospital facilities.

A bipartisan group of legislators in State Capitols like those in Arizona are calling for legislation to help those in this crisis.

It is vital that no matter what the amount of the stimulus package, at the national or state level, that the legislation PUTS PEOPLE FIRST.

One of the criticisms of the recession bailout from 2008 was that it directed virtually all the aid to the financial sector. The person looking to pay the mortgage was virtually ignored.

History can not repeat itself here.

The people are what drives the economic engines of this country. That is not to say that small, medium, and large industries do not need assistance. They do.

But any assistance those industries get will be throwing away money if people do not get the aid like paid sick leave or cash grants to help them through this period so they can use their income later to plan for trips and invest in other economic sectors instead of spending the summer catching up on the bills or worse going bankrupt.

Learn from 2008 and PUT PEOPLE FIRST.