There are news reports that amply be-chinned MoscowMitch has suddenly come-around to some sort of Trump-Virus relief legislation, and the media is taking it hook, line, and sinker:
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he sees “hopeful signs” for striking a coronavirus stimulus deal before the end of the year.
- Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been scrambling to strike a pandemic relief deal before the end of the year.
- After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backed a bipartisan $908 billion stimulus package, while McConnell released his own roughly $500 billion plan.
“…On Thursday, McConnell called for a deal similar to the one he unveiled. It includes Paycheck Protection Program loan funding and money for education and vaccine distribution. Democrats have backed those provisions.
“However, it includes one piece Democrats find toxic: Covid-19 liability protections for businesses and universities. Pelosi and Schumer have also repeatedly pushed for state and local government aid and supplemental federal unemployment payments, which McConnell’s plan does not include.
“Why won’t the Democrats compromise?”
This is really infuriating. Our Failed Political Press is presenting this as news, when in fact this is the status quo from the last, oh, six months. And notice that the razor blade is still in the apple: Liability protection for employers, nothing for employees and state and local gubmints are still getting nothing.
But Mitch gets to be framed as being reasonable. Our Failed Political Press is rehabbing him right before our eyes.
UPDATE 1: Afternoon mail thingie from Politico:
DEMOCRATS ARE SKEPTICAL … Senate Minority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER said this on the floor today: “The Republican leader came to the floor this morning to say compromise is within reach — his words — before reiterating a long list of Republican demands and blaming the Democrats for everything.
“ONCE AGAIN, the Republican leader argued that the Senate should pass only what Republicans approve of and leave the rest for later, and he now says that an emergency relief bill should be limited by only what President Trump will sign. Of course, we could say similarly the bill should be limited only by what a Democratic House will pass. Neither is true — compromise. The leader knows that. But for some reason, in the midst of this generational crisis, Republican Leader McConnell does not seem inclined to compromise, to actually get something done. But what he wants to do is posture, to put partisan bills on the floor and say, take it or leave it. The real answer here is to sit down and talk.”
UPDATE 2: The Associated Press tells us we still have a YUGE unemployment problem
U.S. jobless claims remain high at 712,000 as virus escalates
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell as the nation celebrated Thanksgiving last week to a still-high 712,000, the latest sign that the U.S. economy and job market remain under stress from the intensified viral outbreak.
“Thursday’s report from the Labor Department said that initial claims for jobless aid dropped from 787,000 the week before. … The total number of people who are continuing to receive traditional state unemployment benefits declined to 5.5 million from 6.1 million.”