Millions of Americans waiting for some relief from Covid-19 lockdowns since April can expect $600 each, while Congress wants to approve $1.4 trillion for the Pentagon, foreign aid, horse racing and gender equity of statues.
The $900 billion “stimulus” bill previewed by Congress on Monday is far less than Democrats demanded, holding up new relief for months in what their leaders practically admitted was aimed at influencing the 2020 election. It allocates $166 billion for direct payments of up to $600 per individual – now including some illegal immigrants – which may go out as soon as next week if the bill is approved.
Another $120 billion would be for extended unemployment benefits, but now with a requirement to show documentation.
PUA claimants will now be required to provide income documentation (not self attestation!) within 21 days. Continuing claimants (claim before 1/31/21) will have to provide this within 90 days. This is a huge burden for workers and state UI offices. pic.twitter.com/W6LFl9eyX7
Some $325 billion will go to help small businesses – including a $15 billion subsidy for live venues, movie theaters and museums, as lobbied by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) – but is not expected to cover more than three months of payroll.
The last time Americans received a direct payment was in April, and the check was for up to $1,200 per person. This was after just a month of economy-crushing lockdowns in the name of fighting the pandemic, which have only got worse since.
Congress is useless, a bunch of warmongering millionaires who don’t care about us pic.twitter.com/eJuVpre9wK
Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) caught heat for saying the bill is “real help” and daring to remind Americans that the government doesn’t actually have any of that money and has to borrow it.
“It’s $1 trillion, for God’s sake! What is that, 1,000 million dollars? And there is no money fairy,” Kennedy said on Fox News.
The absence of a “money fairy” doesn’t seem to be stopping Congress from putting up a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, however. It seems to have been presented together with the stimulus in a 5,500+ page document. Reports from Capitol Hill blamed this technical difficulties with congressional computers and printers. This has also caused confusion among reporters and members of the public, unable to tell the bills apart.
The word “missile” appears 19 times in the COVID Relief Bill. “Aircraft” appears 208 times. “Munition” 46 times.”weapon” 46 times. “Healthcare” = 24.”doctor”/”nurse” = 5.”masks” = 0.Who and what exactly is this bill really for?
One particularly egregious detail many have noted was foreign aid, from $1.4 billion for the “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act” to $500 million for Israel and $453 million to Ukraine.
The Stimulus Bill:The gov’t closes the economy. You lose your job. You face eviction.$600 for all your troubles. Meanwhile they send:$135 million to Burma$85.5 million to Cambodia$1.4 billion for “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act”$130 million to NepalThey hate you. pic.twitter.com/95U2Qt4uNa
The new COVID relief bill contains $500,000,000 for Israel. pic.twitter.com/oWJlLm1MzC
$453,000,000 in aid to Ukraine. #VetoTheBillpic.twitter.com/E8ID8St3Nx
Hong Kong “democracy” activists were also on the minds of Congress, apparently, to the tune of $3 million.
The new stimulus bill appropriates $3,000,000 for Hong Kong rioters pic.twitter.com/PX3PmBFKeM
Even the procedure on electing a new Dalai Lama made it in.
The section laying out (restating, actually) the US position on the process by which the Dalai Lama may be chosen is interesting geopolitics. China’s (officially atheist) government has tried to control the process.https://t.co/p6V4HFDulF. pic.twitter.com/bbFghRIXft
There is also a veritable smorgasbord of pet causes. For example, there’s a fix for the “drafting mistake” in the 1996 welfare reform bill that excluded the residents of Marshall Islands – a technically independent US vassal state in the South Pacific – from the Medicaid program.
There’s a line prohibiting the Federal Trade Commission from publishing a report that says sugar consumption is bad for children.
The legislation blocks the FTC from saying ‘Sugar is bad for children.’ pic.twitter.com/rqTZRPIBuP
Some $10 million was found for “gender programs” in Pakistan. An unspecified amount will be spent to investigate the effects of the “1908 Springfield Race Riot.” Then there’s laying the groundwork to establish a “Climate Security Advisory Council,” as well as a commission to address the gender inequality of… statues.
Last but not least, a body is set up to ensure the integrity and fairness of horse racing, especially when it comes to giving horses painkillers. That makes horse-racing subject to more scrutiny than, say, US elections.
The Covid relief bill includes a lengthy subsection titled “the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020” pic.twitter.com/zfBtHUnRhE
The establishment’s cavalier attitude towards aiding Americans compared to their priorities of perpetuating US global presence has managed to briefly unite the left and the right, though to what effect, remains to be seen.
I have no words – I was opposed to the stimulus bill, just let people work. But this, to roll all of this nonsense into the bill. Do ANTIFA and BLM still have those guillotines? I think we can find a common cause. https://t.co/vD0N8EtUZc
There should be a bipartisan movement against foreign aid. If they can only give Americans $600 we shouldn’t be sending money anywhere else. It’s fucked.
Congress clearly thinks its selective, politically-preferential bail-outs for the politically protected, after the banking crisis of 2008, is a good model for Covid-19 relief packages. Will it produce a comparable left-right bipartisan populist backlash?
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!