Politics On COVID Relief, Dems Should Go Small Then Go It Alone

19:39  22 january  2021
19:39  22 january  2021 Source:   nymag.com

These countries are the most reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Is the US on the list?

  These countries are the most reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Is the US on the list? The United States isn’t the only country in the world struggling with people who are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Your browser does not support this video A new Ipsos survey conducted in partnership with the World Economic Forum found residents in seven other countries were more hesitant to get the vaccine than Americans. The report surveyed 13,500 adults from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20 in 15 countries: Brazil, Mexico, the U.K., Australia, South Korea, Canada, the U.S., Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Russia, China and France.Start the day smarter.

With talks between Democrats and the White House on vital COVID -19 rescue funds collapsing, President Donald Trump signaled Friday evening he would go it

The Covid -19 relief legislation was passed by Congress on Monday and was flown to Mar-a-Lago on Thursday to await Trump's signature. Trump signaled in a statement Sunday night that he signed the coronavirus relief bill only after securing a commitment for the Senate to consider legislation to

Last week, Joe Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package that included $350 billion in fiscal aid to states (or, as conservatives call it, “a blue-state bailout”) and a $15 federal minimum wage (or, as conservatives call it, “Stalinism”). The president-elect then declared his intention to pass this bill through Congress on a bipartisan basis.

Chuck Schumer wearing a suit and tie: Don’t Chuck this up. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images © Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images Don’t Chuck this up. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Which is roughly as realistic as my intention to sell Mitch McConnell on the Meidner Plan through sheer force of blogging.

“I don’t think it can get 60. Because even the people on our side that would be inclined to want to work with the administration on something like that, that price range is going to be out of range for them,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune told Politico this week.

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The Trump administration’s go - it - alone stance begins with the president’s hostility to the WHO — which Trump has attempted to scapegoat for Covid -19’s global spread, in an “When the U.S. says it is not going to participate in any sort of multilateral effort to secure vaccines, it ’s a real blow,” Suerie Moon

Associated Press – With talks between Democrats and the White House on vital COVID -19 rescue funds collapsing, President Donald Trump signaled Friday evening he would go it alone , despite the considerable limits to.

The three most “moderate” Senate Republicans — Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins — all expressed their opposition to the proposal’s size and timing. “We just passed a program with over $900 billion in it,” Romney told the press Wednesday. “I’m not looking for a new program in the immediate future.”

Since then, a “common-sense coalition” of eight Democrats and eight Republicans has formed, in hopes of crafting a bipartisan alternative to Biden’s plan. The group is set to meet with National Economic Council director Brian Deese in the coming days to discuss potential areas of overlapping interest. The endeavor seems less than promising. Beyond the fact that the “common sense” among this coalition’s Republicans is that no further aid is required, a compromise supported by only eight Republicans is a compromise that cannot win the 60 votes necessary for overcoming a Senate filibuster.

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Though Congress has passed a 0 billion Covid relief package, millions of Americans are in danger of losing important benefits just after the holidays if President Donald Trump continues to refuse to sign the bill.

media captionTrump asked Congress to amend the Covid aid bill earlier this week. US President Donald Trump has belatedly signed into law a coronavirus relief and spending package bill, averting a partial government shutdown.

Instead of carrying on time-consuming negotiations with conservatives who are uninterested in broad relief — and incapable of delivering it by themselves even if they were — Biden should pare back his first bill to its essentials: funding for vaccines and $1,400 checks.

The case for this approach, as articulated by The American Prospect’s David Dayen and many Democrats in the House, is twofold:

1) The economic and public-health value of getting to vaccine-induced herd immunity as soon as possible is massive, especially now that new, ultra-virulent COVID strains are in circulation.

2) Distributing $1,400 checks would simultaneously keep America’s most vulnerable afloat while a broader package is ironed out, and fulfill the Democrats’ core campaign promise in the Georgia Senate runoffs. What’s more, thanks to Donald Trump, many Senate Republicans have publicly claimed to support the checks, which are overwhelmingly popular.

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Note: This was originally going to be a more generous benefit for workers, but Republicans in the Senate What if employers can't pay? Most of the 35 million American workers at small businesses don't Several members have tested positive for Covid -19 and there is a push for something

Bars and restaurants should stay shut until May, researchers have suggested as Boris Johnson acknowledged it was “too early to say” when lockdown measures could be eased. © Steve Parsons The prospect of pubs being forced to shut until May led to warnings that many may not reopen

Now that a Democrat is president, it’s quite possible that Republican support for the cash relief payments no longer exists (after all, even Democrat Joe Manchin has expressed aversion to the policy). But if the GOP wants to clear up the confusion that Donald Trump created — and inform the voting public that “Americans deserve more cash relief to help them weather this pandemic” is actually a Democratic idea — then so be it. The vital thing is to get a turbo-charged vaccine-distribution program up and running. Democrats can enact virtually everything else in Biden’s plan through budget reconciliation, which enables bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority vote. But since reconciliation is an inherently time-consuming process, Biden cannot get vaccine dollars out next week through it. (In a better world, Democrats would simply abolish the legislative filibuster today, and pass Biden’s full plan tomorrow, but for now the party’s moderate senators are opposed to such a rational course of action.)

The “shots and checks strategy” has backing in the House. But, according to Dayen’s reporting, Senate Democrats are skeptical. Their reasoning is that “popular items can drive Congress to pass a bigger deal, and without them, a bigger deal might get stranded.” Which is silly. There is no big bipartisan deal to be had, but no one can “strand” a big deal save for Democrats themselves. They aren’t the minority party anymore. They don’t need to hold vaccine funding hostage to more partisan priorities; they can just use the power that budget reconciliation gives them to pass whatever relief measures they desire.

No more gangs of eight, ten, or 16. No protracted negotiations with Republicans who can’t even deliver the scraps they concede. As a wise bus once said, “no malarkey.” Pocket the vaccine funding — and either relief checks or the political victory of forcing Republicans to own their opposition to relief checks — and then do the rest your own way.

Above all, don’t let one of these COVID mutants increase the pandemic’s death toll by hundreds of thousands because you wasted two weeks trying to appeal to the better angels of Mitt Romney’s nature.

Bernie Sanders Confident Dems Can Pass $14K Stimulus Checks, COVID Relief Without Republicans .
"We're going to do what the American people overwhelmingly want us to do," the progressive senator from Vermont said.A group of 10 Senate Republicans, led by Senator Susan Collins of Maine, sent a letter to the White House on Sunday requesting a meeting with Biden to discuss a smaller stimulus proposal that they believed could pass quickly through Congress with bipartisan backing. The proposed package is significantly scaled back, totaling $600 billion—or less than a third of Biden's proposal—with just $1,000 direct payments.

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This is interesting!