Battle continues over federal relief

As Congress returned from their August recess on Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced a new $300 billion federal aid bill ( Sen. McConnell said that Senate Republicans hope to vote for this new bill by Thursday. This new bill contains several provisions including $300 in increased unemployment benefits (reduced from the previous $600), a second Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, approximately $100 billion towards schools and colleges, and a liability protection program.

While the Republicans have a slim majority, they probably won’t have the 60 required votes needed to pass the bill. Even if the bill makes it out of the Senate, there is a good chance that it will die in the House.

This marks the second time that a new relief bill has failed to get through Congress. McConnell had previously introduced a $1 trillion relief package, but it never made it out of the Senate. Republicans have blamed Democrats, claiming that they are drawing out the process to prevent Republicans from getting a win before the election. In turn Democrats have accused Republicans of short-changing Americans in hopes of getting good press without accomplishing meaningful aid.

Until the economy can move towards meaningful recovery Congress must work past partisan politics. While large spending bills will have detrimental long term effects, something must be done to alleviate the burden of the current pandemic. Both parties are in danger of jeopardizing their election chances if a reasonable compromise can’t be reached.

Image Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

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