There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.
~ John Adams
We still don’t have the written copy of the deal worked out between Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi, but it has passed the House and is on its way to the Senate.
Pelosi’s original deal included unending, permanent funds for abortion outside the Hyde Amendment. It was filled with socialist policies including a moratorium on immigration enforcement at the border when the opposite should take place. She wanted a release of prisoners under some prison reform she came up with and she pushed Universal Sick Leave. The bill that passed is hopefully better, but the Washington Post’s summary suggests there is permanent pork in it.
We need to see how much this will cost as well and how much is permanent. There also seems to be a question of whether or not it’s targeted for Coronavirus victims alone. The concept behind this bill is we have to take care of every person who is sick due to the virus.
During the H1N1 ‘crisis,’ no one was panicked like this. Sports, businesses, the market were not shut down. About 18,000 died and it hit all ages, but mostly the young. Up to 80 million Americans were infected. There was no panic.
Congress just voted on over eight billion dollars for the virus, released another 42.6 billion dollars under the national emergency declaration, and they voted on another 50 billion dollars or so.
Are we going to do this every time a new virus appears? Maybe this bill is better than we think, but from what Washington Post says, it’s not great for the fiscally-minded.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered rare praise for Pelosi after the deal was struck, and said: “Regardless of the partisanship here, at this time in this place, we will come together to put the American public first.”
The bill was passed a little before 1 a.m. Hopefully, Republicans read it carefully.
Rep. Green spoke in the clip below before the bill was passed. The House overwhelmingly passed the economic relief bill for the coronavirus 363-40 , dedicating tens of billions of dollars for paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, free testing and other measures to help Americans impacted by the crisis.
I’m here at the Capitol tonight. It’s almost midnight and we still don’t have the final bill text so we don’t know what’s in it or what it might cost. Yet, we’re supposed to vote on it in the next hour or so? Madam @SpeakerPelosi, this is not what we were elected to do. pic.twitter.com/L18FNdSNnv
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) March 14, 2020
It’s unclear if all of these new benefits only apply to coronavirus and if there is a time limit on all of this pork-laden package. At the end of the WaPo article, the author writes, “Lawmakers in both parties have reacted coolly to the proposal, expressing qualms about its cost and the fact that it is not targeted to those directly affected by the pandemic.”
Caveat: This was written by WaPo at 1:06 a.m. this morning and they are inaccurate reporters. We aren’t sure the report is accurate.
If it is accurate, Republicans won’t get any credit, just the grief, and Pelosi will be honored for her brilliant snookering.
Under the agreement, employers will be forced to provide 14 days of paid sick leave at “not less” than two-thirds of their regular rate. They would qualify for the benefit if they are sick and have to be quarantined or treated for coronavirus, or if they have to leave their jobs to take care of a family member who has coronavirus.
As an aside, why do I get free testing? I can afford to pay for my testing.
Workers would be eligible for paid sick leave if they have to stay home because they have a child whose school or childcare facility has closed due to the coronavirus.
The agreement also dramatically expands the existing paid family medical and leave program from its current form. Under existing law, employers are required to give “job-protected” medical leave for up to 12 weeks — meaning workers cannot be fired — without additional pay. Under the Pelosi-Mnuchin plan, workers taking paid medical leave would also be paid at two-thirds of their typical rate of pay for the 12 weeks. This applies to companies with fewer than 500 employees, would be available for a year for people affected by the coronavirus.
Small businesses could go under so these employers are given a tax credit equal to 100 percent of paid sick leave wage benefits they paid out.
Unemployment is beefed up.
Another 500 million goes to the women, infants, and children nutrition program, nullifies work requirements for food stamps, provides $100 million in food grants to US territories, Puerto Rico, and the Mariana Islands. (Does anyone have Coronavirus in the US territories and the Mariana Islands?)
It provides additional funding to nutritional assistance programs for children and the elderly.
A controversial provision in the bill as originally introduced by House Democrats would have increased the percentage of Medicaid spending borne by the federal government by eight percentage points through Sept. 30, 2021. That was reduced to 6.2 percentage points increase.
The payroll tax cut is out. That would have made Trump look good.