The Senate is about to pass the ‘largest relief package in history’ amid the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, but progressives say it isn’t enough

SINGLE USE - Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders

The Senate is poised to pass what will likely amount to a more than $2 trillion stimulus package on Monday as the coronavirus pandemic all but shuts down the US economy.
But progressive activists and lawmakers say the spending package needs to be significantly bigger.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on the left say the economic crisis provoked by the pandemic requires a long-term and structural response, rather than a short-term flood of government subsidies.
Several of Ocasio-Cortez’s former aides with the group New Consensus are proposing $2,000 monthly checks for all Americans and significant subsidies for small businesses and the production of essential supplies, including medical equipment
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The Senate is poised to pass a historic stimulus package on Monday as the coronavirus pandemic all but shuts down the US economy. But progressive activists and lawmakers say the spending package needs to be bigger and more equitable.

Lawmakers have already passed two emergency bills, signed by Trump last week, sending $8.3 billion in funding for government health agencies and about $100 billion for expanded paid leave, unemployment insurance, and food and healthcare aid.

The stimulus that comes out of the current negotiations will likely amount to around $2 trillion, but it will almost certainly not be the last piece of legislation Congress will need to produce to fight the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The Trump administration is asking for massive bailouts for the airline, hotel, and cruise ship industries, among other affected sectors, and a $300 billion stimulus for small businesses.

“We’re going big,” Trump said at a White House press briefing last week. “We don’t want airlines going out of business or people losing their jobs and not having money to live.”

Senate Republicans introduced a stimulus bill on Thursday that would cut corporate taxes, provide up to $1,200 in direct cash payments to Americans who make less than $99,000 per year, offer $10 million loans to small businesses and hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to large corporations, and limit the paid leave expansion passed in the emergency measure.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday that Democrats won’t sign on to any bill that doesn’t include extra funding for rural hospitals, full unemployment insurance for laid-off workers, and a ban on stock buybacks for companies that take government aid, among other measures.

Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said he was confident the stimulus would be the “largest — when it’s all concluded — relief package in history.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s hoping to have the parties reach an agreement over the weekend and pass the legislation on Monday.

Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers and activists are pushing for a much larger relief package that prioritizes assisting struggling workers, expanding healthcare benefits, and investing in public systems over aiding corporations.

And many economists say the Senate stimulus bill is just a “down payment” on the further injections the economy will require as the pandemic ravages the …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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