More COVID-19 aid response needed
Your Dec. 27 editorial supported a one-time payment for COVID-19 relief.
It’s too bad you didn’t support the Democrats’ $2,000 relief proposal in May. It can be argued that now calling for an increase in relief payments is a stunt on Trump’s part; yet, Democrats are serious about getting relief to Americans and immediately called for unanimous consent in the House in December to provide $2,000 relief per person. Republicans blocked that effort. A Dec. 28 roll call vote passed it in the House by two-thirds.
The Senate can act once again. The Tribune Chronicle, like the president, is conflating the COVID-19 relief with passing of the spending for the national budget to avoid a shutdown. The COVID-19 relief and the national budget were rolled together at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s urging for Senate passage. The items Trump calls pork are part of his proposed budget for foreign aid, etc. So again, the deal maker is negotiating against his own team.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans went through Christmas with fear and day-to-day insecurity.
Your chiding of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is curious. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and the other two representatives from the Mahoning Valley, Republicans David Joyce and Bill Johnson, have shown none of the same advocacy for getting our area needed relief that Ryan has shown. Johnson and Joyce both voted against the Heroes Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) that Ryan co-sponsored and helped successfully pass in May. Portman has been silent on the sidelines while McConnell refused to negotiate the bill from May until December.
McConnell has forced the Senate to vote on one judicial appointment after another, while the death toll of Americans has increased to more than 350,000 Americans and 8 million more Americans have been added to the official poverty ranks since summer. McConnell, not Pelosi, was the roadblock in October, stating that he (McConnell) would not put anything on the floor over $500 billion.
Trump showed no interest in relieving the American people’s pain in this pandemic until he felt insulted by McConnell. Trump had his negotiators agree to this package and then, after the work was done, raised objections. Trump was busy licking his wounds and focused his efforts to overturn our election with case after unsubstantiated case struck down in the courts and with his lies about the validity of the election.
So once again, the ball is back in the Senate’s and the White House’s court to say yes to helping the American people.
So, as you said in the Tribune editorial, “Let’s do this thing.”