COVID-19 not waiting on aid package

Time is running out for Congressional and administration negotiators to put together an aid bill to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease is not going to take a time out while they argue in Washington.

The last aid package ran out last week, and the full impact of the loss of $600-per-week federal unemployment benefit is going to be felt by all those still seeking jobs. The number of jobs has shown some sign of recovery, but is nowhere near the levels that existed before last March. Meanwhile 1.2 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. It won’t be long before evictions and utility shutoffs kick in for many.

Small businesses are still struggling with the impact of the virus shutdowns. Schools are trying to figure out how they will open up, if they can open up, this fall and how much more it will cost to keep everyone safe.

Congress knew long before the last coronavirus aid package expired that it would need to come up with another one. The negotiations have been difficult, with Senate Republicans unable to agree on major points, let alone trying to work with Democrats in the House.

Frankly, it shouldn’t be taking this long to come together on an aid package that the nation’s people so desperately need. Congress should remember that the disease is not going to wait around for them to get it done.


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