Senate Republicans Balk At More Stimulus Checks

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

The Hill reports today, and for those of us who burned through that $1,200 of stimulus money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act just beginning to catch up from the personal economic devastation of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s bad news:

Senate Republicans are pouring cold water on including another round of stimulus checks in the next coronavirus relief bill.

The record $2.2 trillion pandemic bill signed into law March 27 mandated one-time payments of $1,200 for people making up to $75,000 a year, but most of the checks have already been distributed.

The White House and Democrats are signaling support for doing at least one more round of checks. GOP senators, however, say they aren’t sold yet on the need for a second round, and several said they are strongly opposed to the idea.

Democrats have proposed sending $2,000 checks to every household monthly until the economy is safely up and running again, and this story correctly points out that the original–maybe only now–round of stimulus checks to individual taxpayers in April was half of what Democrats originally wanted. But like Republican Sen. John Kennedy says, “people in hell want ice water too.” Sen. Lindsey Graham says getting your ass back to work is the best stimulus, and Sen. Ron Johnson says relax, “this isn’t your classic recession.”

Sen. Johnson is right, of course, but not in the way he thinks. According to the 14.7% unemployment rate announced today for the month of April, this is a much more severe economic crisis than anyone in the workforce today has ever experienced.

What happens next? It depends in large part on how “swing” Senators like Cory Gardner line up on the next stimulus bill. Gardner has been taking credit for the stimulus dollars flowing into Colorado so greedily he sent a release celebrating items just a few days before he had bashed as “despicable” examples of tripped Democrats holding up the works. Gardner has the choice of supporting another round of direct stimulus to individuals as loudly as he’s supported the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses, going along with his fellow Republican Senators in closing the wallet on the “takers,” or trailing the herd in silence until the last possible moment.

Without some timely and determined tag teaming, we already know which it will be.

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  1. doremi says:

    …and Colorado's Congressmen Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn joined with 9 of their fellow Republican colleagues and wrote a letter to Trump "pleading with him not to send money to their cash-starved states."  Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/08/trumps-principal-argument-reelection-has-vanished/

    • harrydobyharrydoby says:

      Rubin's column deserves more elaboration for non-WaPo subscribers:

      Despite the deaths of more than 75,000 Americans, the Great Depression-like unemployment numbers and the unprecedented disruption of every aspect of American life, Trump remains obsessed with the Russia investigation (heralding his attorney general’s decision to hand Michael Flynn a get-out-of-jail-free card) and is attacking the media, cheering unmasked protesters swarming in public places and insisting his performance has been exemplary. Never has the gap between Trump’s self-image and reality been so stark.

       The voters of Arizona, Colorado, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Idaho, Virginia and Pennsylvania should know that their representatives are happy to see even more of them unemployed (although Republicans happily supported $500 billion for large corporations).

      In a sane world, mass death, record unemployment, vast inequality and reckless indifference to the lives and livelihood of Americans would result in mass resignation of those responsible for our crisis, beginning with Trump. Since that will not happen, the only alternative is for voters to kick out every Republican. We’ve found out just how much we had to lose by putting this crowd in power.

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