Trump Chose To Grab Power Instead of Provide Pandemic Relief?

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Another 751,000 Out of Work, But Trump and Senate Allies Chose to Grab Power Instead of Provide Coronavirus Pandemic Relief

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Trump And Senate Allies Wave Off Making A Pandemic Relief Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump recession deepened as another 751,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to nearly 7.8 million. The report comes as the Trump administration threw in the towel on containing the worsening pandemic that has already cost the lives of over 225,000 Americans -- and as Senate skipped town without passing a serious COVID-19 economic aid package, as the U.S. House has done twice. Trump’s Senate allies chose instead to spend critical weeks teeing up the confirmation of the President’s extreme Supreme Court pick. In an act of economic sabotage, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell waved off the White House from making a pandemic relief deal with the U.S. House at a time mom-and-pop businesses continue to shuttermass evictions and more job losses loom, and food insecurity persists – especially within Black and Latino communities.

“Giving up and waiting for the health crisis and recession to fix themselves is not an option for our leaders -- but that is exactly the dangerous and costly choice the president and his Senate followers have made,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “They made clear their indifference towards the incredible sacrifices being made by small businesses and workers when they decided a more right-wing, corporate-friendly Supreme Court was more important than a real coronavirus pandemic relief deal.”

Fiddling Around

Almost 65 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic, and the nation’s true unemployment rate — those who do not have a full-time job that pays a living wage — is 26.1% for all Americans and a jaw-dropping 59.2% for Black Americans.  Yet Trump’s Senate allies made every excuse not to act on the updated HEROES Act the House passed this month that includes a full extension of the CARES Act’s $600 enhanced unemployment benefit provision and improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), after previously passing a serious aid bill in May.

While Trump and the Senate put all their energy into jamming through Trump’s extremist Supreme Court nominee, it has been…   

  • 215 days since the CARES Act was passed — the last significant comprehensive aid package Congress secured to help the American people through a crisis that is now well past its 6th month of raging through the U.S.
  • 89 days since the CARES Act’s weekly $600 enhanced federal unemployment benefits ran out, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet.
  • 83 days since applications for the Paycheck Protection Program closed, leaving small businesses that were denied from the program to fend for themselves.
  • 65 days until Trump’s eviction moratorium runs out, potentially resulting in thousands of families losing access to stable housing.

It’s clear more — not less — needs to be done as the Trump Recession continues for millions of Americans:      

  • New York Times, 10/28: Hospitals Are Reeling Under a 46 Percent Spike in Covid-19 Patients. Across the country, case numbers have risen to fearsome new levels in recent days, with the seven-day average for new cases exceeding 70,000 for the first time in the pandemic. Twenty-six states are at or near record numbers for new infections. More than 500,000 cases have been announced in the past week. And exactly zero states are seeing sustained declines in case numbers.
  • New York Times, 10/27: Why the Best G.D.P. Report Ever Won’t Mean the Economy Has Healed. “Employment has come back to some extent, but the unemployment rate is still high, wage and salary income is still low,” said Ben Herzon, executive director of IHS Markit, a forecasting firm. “Demand is still being depressed by the pandemic.”
  • Washington Post, 10/27: Renters thought a CDC order protected them from eviction. Then landlords found loopholes. The jobs and wages swept aside by the ensuing recession have pushed an estimated 8 million Americans into poverty since May. Experts say even with the patchwork of state and local eviction moratoriums launched since the start of the pandemic, as many as 40 million tenants could be evicted by the end of the year.
  • Associated Press, 10/26: As virus resurges, so does fear of more economic pain ahead. With no stimulus likely the rest of this year, economists at Goldman Sachs have slashed their growth forecast for the October-December quarter to a 3% annual rate from 6%.