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COVID-19 payments from the U.S. government

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John Floyd

Twenty-million dollars for Pakistani women. That sum of money is a line item in the United States 2021 budget passed by the American Congress. Authorizing this amount of money for Pakistani women at a time when American women and men are in desperate need of funding of some type, borders on criminal. But this is only one example of idiotic spending emanating from Congress. The Congress of the United States is totally devoid of any understanding of the cry for help from the American public. I guarantee you, there is a bureaucracy set up in Washington D.C., that is funded by the $20 million allocation to Pakistani women. In this time of national crisis, stupidity reigns in Washington D.C.

As to the Covid-19 $900 Billion Relief Bill, do I believe the Congress should give $2,000 to every household that qualifies? You bet I do. The $600 presently authorized for payment is a slap in the face for a population that has been devastated by the Covid-19 in terms of financial and personal considerations. Extraordinary circumstances call for exceptional actions and the present dilemma Americans find themselves in is one of those moments in time. Pay the $2,000 as soon as possible.

The Covid-19 bill has many good features. The bill helps a cash starved U.S. Postal Service by giving the service $10 billion but would also require the Postal Service to provide certain information. The bill extends a tax credit for employers who are having a problem maintaining workers and their salaries. Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, would receive $1 billion targeted at the prevention of further layoffs of personnel. U.S. agriculture will receive a multi-billion dollar injection of funds for cattle ranchers, farmers and small town communities.

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Child care will receive $10 billion in grants for care providers and $250 million for the head start program. Education gets another $82 billion for public and private K-12 schools and universities and colleges. There are funds for the entertainment industry. Independent movie theaters, live entertainment venues, and cultural institutions will receive $15 billion. Airlines are not left out. The airlines are provided $15 billion to cover salaries and benefits for airline employees while providing $1 billion for airline contractor payrolls.

As far as Covid-10 in particular, the states will receive $22.4 billion for testing, tracing, and Covid-19 mitigation programs. Some $20 billion is provided to Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for procuring vaccines and therapeutics. Another $9 billion would go to the Centers for Disease Control and all states for the distribution of the vaccine. Three billion dollars is earmarked for the national stockpile. Twenty-five billion dollars is earmarked for assistance with rental payments. All good aspects of the Covid-19 bill.

Jobless aid, one of the key features of the Covid-19 bill, provides a federal un-employment subsidy for workers of $300 per week. The legislation would also extend to 50 weeks the amount of time a worker can claim benefits through both federal and state programs. The typical coverage is 26 weeks.

Most of the prior information was provided to the readers of the Wall Street Journal in their U.S. News section by reporters Andrew Ackerman, Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, Ted Mann, Josh Mitchell, Amara Omeokwe, Richard Rubin, Alison Sider, Paul Ziobro. And Jacob Bunge. They have done yeoman’s work in pulling the information together.

The passing of the Covid-19 bill, with the exception of the $600 household payment, shows what Congress can do when challenged. The time it took to pass the bill is in question, but the results are impressive. Now if Congress will only increase the household payments to $2,000, the American people can say “Well done.” If not, the American people have a right to say “the elitist politicians have once again driven a stake through the heart of America.”