The Republican abandonment of the American people continues.
A slew of expiring emergency programs are setting up an economic “COVID cliff” come 2021, which could see millions of people lose unemployment insurance and get evictions, while a growing wave of small businesses close shop.
March’s CARES Act set up myriad programs to give people economic relief in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which are set to expire on Dec. 31.
Unless a divided Congress can reach a deal to extend the programs, the country’s economic suffering could skyrocket.
The frightening, post-election COVID surge is making everything feel strange, different and unsettled all over again.
Why it matters: With Thanksgiving canceled, doctors quitting their practices and grocers limiting purchase quantities (again), Americans have the ambient sense that our safety net is unraveling. Not only are things not returning to normal, they may not return to normal for a long time.
The people and institutions we look toward for guidance and leadership — like elected officials and medical authorities — seem as flummoxed by the pandemic as we are. They issue new rules day by day (closing schools, restricting shopping, issuing curfews), yet look helpless and flailing as infections rise.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thank’s Charlie!) morning email thingie begins with this snatch of dialog on Fox News(!):
WALLACE: “But — but, Kate [Kate Bedingfield, Deputy campaign manager and communications director · for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign] — but, but, Kate, you — you can’t pass COVID relief without the Senate majority leader. He is the majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. Is the president-elect ready to meet with him now? In other — I’m trying to get a sense, is it President-elect Biden whose holding up the meeting or is it Mitch McConnell?”
BEDINGFIELD: “We strongly hope that Senator McConnell will come to the table. I think if you look at where the Democrats have been across the entire course of this year. You know, Democrats passed a bill back in May and we’ve seen — we’ve seen obstruction from Republicans. So, obviously, we are very hopeful that Mitch McConnell will come to the table. It is important. People are expecting it. You know, they voted for — in this — in this election, they voted for action, they voted for progress … ”
WALLACE: “But just to — just to — just to press this, would — would Biden meet — would — would Biden meet with McConnell right now?”
BEDINGFIELD: “Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. Yes. It is important that Sen. McConnell come to the table.”
I wouldn’t hold my breath. The Republicans have shown that they would rather watch the world burn.