A group of congressional lawmakers from the Problem Solvers Caucus introduced a bipartisan stimulus bill on Tuesday which would increase weekly unemployment benefits by $300 a week and release another $160 billion in aid to state and local governments. The $908 billion bill is still subject to change and has not yet been approved, but both the Left and the Right are showing at least some willingness to possibly work with it. Previously, Democrats have proposed a “multitrillion-dollar package,” while Republicans have proposed a “$500 billion bill.”
The Left admits it is probably better than nothing but disagrees with the bill’s liability shields for businesses.
“With liability shields, those…employers will know that they can get away with all kinds of cost-slashing and corner-cutting that endangers workers and denies them access to basic protective gear…[The shield] would strip frontline workers of their last remaining legal tool to protect themselves in the workplace.”David Sirota and Julia Rock, Jacobin Magazine
Forbes writer Jack Brewster argued, “There’s no sign Pelosi or McConnell intend to budge on their stimulus demands anytime soon.” Eric Levitz, from New York Magazine, wrote, “On just about every item, the appropriation is inadequate to the level of need. Democrats should certainly push for better terms…But it’s not clear to me how Democrats end up with a much better deal than this…” “It would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge,” stated Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). The Washington Post Editorial Board agreed: ““Substantively, it is better – much better – than nothing, which is what the 10 million who remain jobless and the 26 million facing food insecurity are getting now.”
The Right also admits it is probably better than nothing but disagrees with the bill’s lack of direct payments to American households.
“It’s absurd to push a relief bill without direct stimulus as a component. For one thing, all sides agree on the need for it, and for another, selling spending like this without giving direct aid to voters is political malpractice…”Ed Morrissey, Columnist for Hot Air
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) stated, “It’s been said, this is not what everybody would wish. People are going to look at these buckets and they’re going to say, ‘Well, my bucket isn’t there,’ or ‘My bucket is only half full.’ Well, this is…emergency relief. This is designed to get us through this next quarter.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) agreed, arguing that it is “absolutely essential that we pass emergency relief.” William A. Galston, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, argued, “None of this is – or should be – controversial. Elected officials came together across party lines to do all these things less than nine months ago.” He added that the first stimulus package did pack a hefty punch but noted that most Americans, including 56% of Republicans, believe that such measures are necessary amid current circumstances.