AOC worked up a Bernie Sanders’ righteous rant in the House today, while debating the Senate bill:
The bill includes almost $400 billion to help small businesses retain their payrolls and $250 billion to boost unemployment insurance, offering $600 per week for four months for laid-off workers, on top of whatever benefits their states may provide.
Melissa Kearney, an economics professor at the University of Maryland and director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, said that the benefits in the bill — on top of savings people may already have — could be sufficient to tide laid-off workers through for up to three months.
“I’m quite pleased to see that this was passed so quickly and does include direct payments to households and expansion of unemployment insurance and loans to small businesses,” Kearney said.
The dealmaker’s dealmaker: Mnuchin steps in as Trump’s negotiator, but president’s doubts linger with economy in crisis
The legislation also contains hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency federal aid for large corporations suffering due to the coronavirus outbreak, a provision that sparked days of intense partisan conflict and a frenzied push from lobbyists and corporations eager to secure a chunk of the funding.
The final legislation will provide $25 billion in grants and $25 billion in loans to passenger airlines; $17 billion in loans to industries deemed critical to “national security” — a provision aimed at helping Boeing — and $425 billion in loans and loan guarantees for other large firms, a fund for which cities and states can also apply.
Trump touted the legislation in an interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News.
“The workers are going to get $3,000 for a family of four. They’re going to get all sorts of things that they, frankly, in many cases, they wouldn’t have even gotten if they had the job, if they didn’t have to go through this hell. And it’s — it’s a wonderful thing,” Trump said.
The president went on to say “A lot of this money is going to save Boeing. It’s going to save the airline industry. And, you know, that means not only does it mean what it says, it also means tremendous jobs. We can’t let Boeing go. You know, Boeing had a problem, big one to start off with, and on top of it, this happened. And we’ll save Boeing and we’ll save the airlines and we’ll save other companies.”
The conditions on the large pool of funding became a major sticking point through congressional negotiations. Democrats won some concessions but not others. In the final bill, businesses receiving the loan cannot cut their employment levels by more than 10 percent until Sept. 30. They have some restrictions on executive compensation above $425,000 annually and cannot issue stock buybacks, a limitation supported by Trump.
Included are measures ensuring swift disclosure of funding recipients, as well as an oversight board to probe the Treasury’s decisions. The president, vice president, members of Congress and members of the cabinet are also prohibited from benefiting from the aid — a measure that also applies to their spouses and children. The direct grant funding for the airlines also has strict limitations and is required to go directly to workers or their benefits.
During debate ahead of the vote, with tensions running high, there was an uproar at one point as Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), tried to speak over her allotted time, wearing pink latex
gloves and gesturing in animation as she asked for more time to thank medical professionals at the frontline of the crisis.
“I rise before you donning these latex gloves not for personal attention, not for personal attention, but to encourage you to take this disease seriously,” Stevens shouted as she was gaveled out of order. “I rise for every American who is scared right now.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), from the epicenter of the health crisis in Queens, rose to denounce the bill and the choice lawmakers are being forced to make faced with legislation that she said creates a corporate bailout while also provided needed funds to hospitals and front-line workers.
“Our community’s reality is this country’s future if we don’t do anything. Hospital workers don’t have the necessary equipment,” she said, calling it “shameful, and the option that we have is either to let them suffer with nothing or allow this greed.”
Bernie is hosting another coronavirus/healthcare panel discussion online tonight at 7ET:
TGIF…bar will open soon. More tweets, videos, and jibber jabber in the comments. See you there!