Democrats Claim Victory With Stimulus Bill Over “Tweaks,” But Almost Nothing Changed
- 27.9K Views
While millions of Americans felt the economic impact of the coronavirus, Democrats in Congress were busy calling President Trump racist for his counteractive measures and delaying key legislation to help the economy and provide relief.
Democratic Senators delayed debate negotiations on the stimulus bill for a total of three days, only to achieve very little, when looked at in comparison to what Nancy Pelosi had brought to the table a few days ago.
Early Wednesday morning, Democrats came to an agreement on new terms, which all looked practically the same as the original bill they negotiated with Republican Senators that they had denied in the first place, and now, even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to declare the situation a victory for Democrats.
Check out what he said while speaking to CNN below:
“To the American people we say, ‘Big help, quick help is on the way, because we face about the most unprecedented health crisis we have,'”
“The five pillars that we fought for to make the bill better, much better than the bill Friday, are all in the bill.”
“This is the art of compromise… This is the art of coming together. America needed huge help quickly and I think we’ve risen to that occasion,” he added.
Details of the bill are still being discussed and a final version has yet to be released, but the latest draft shows minimal changes to the overall bill, and little to none of them seem to look very controversial for Democrats or Republicans, despite Chuck Schumer mentioning his addition of the “five pillars.”
So what exactly are the ‘five pillars’? Check out what The Federalist reported below:
Pillar 1) Health care
The first of Schumer’s “five pillars” is $130 billion in funding for hospitals. While his statement called this a $55 billion increase, Monday’s draft included $127 billion for hospitals and health care providers. There’s a $3 billion difference here, nowhere near $55 billion– and on Capitol Hill there is unanimous agreement that aid is needed now and in incredible amounts. In a letter to congressional colleagues, Schumer additionally claims Democrats won “$1 billion for the Indian Health Service,” but that number was included in Monday’s bill.
Pillar 2) American people
The second “pillar” of the deal, according to Schumer, is it is “worker-friendly, workers first,” he told CNN. “We didn’t want to put corporations first. We thought the original bill did that too much.”
The most recent draft extends unemployment insurance to 16 weeks, “increases the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week,” bans stock buybacks from corporations for a year after government assistance ends, helps keep the airlines operating, and protects workers at companies receiving aid, “including Americans who have non-traditional employment … [and] “allowing furloughed workers to stay on as employees.”
Pillar 3) State and local governments
The renegotiation, Schumer told CNN, finally provides “real help” for the states. His letter touts $150 billion for state and local governments, “$30 billion in emergency education funding and $25 billion in emergency transit funding,” and $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund. While the additional $150 billion to states and tribes might be the biggest change in the two versions, the previous bill included $10 billion in block grants to states as well as $242 billion for states and local governments (which has been retained), plus the same amounts for education, transit and disaster relief funding.
Pillar 4) Oversight and accountability
Schumer highlighted his work with former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to push oversight of the rollout, though there is only one additional measure that irks Republicans and based on press statements and interviews with House and Senate staff, they can live with it. Democrats say this pillar includes eliminating a “secret bailout” provision, mandates real-time reporting from the Treasury on assistance details, and establishes a special inspector general and Pandemic Accountability Committee.
Pillar 5) Small businesses
The filibuster accomplished the least for the vast majority of America’s small businesses, which were the main reason of this round of aid. Schumer’s letter says the newest negotiations gained “$17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans … $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs,” and makes “rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness”— all provisions that were in earlier drafts.
There are two main takeaways from what Chuck Schumer and certain politicians in the Senate “accomplished” in the past few weeks. The American citizens now know Democrats are willing to stall aid while businesses die and people are fired, and they are complicit with trying to push partisan legislation into emergency bills that were addressed for a national crisis.
What are your thoughts on what Chuck Schumer said? Let us know in the comments below!