Some relief is on the way, but will it be enough?
Courtesy of WaPo:
Facing one of the worst economic downturns in American history, one that is unsparing in its trauma, the Senate late Wednesday unanimously approved a $2 trillion emergency relief bill that attempts to arrest the financial havoc caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lawmakers acted with unusual speed and cooperation to produce the largest economic rescue package in U.S. history.
The sprawling legislation, which passed 96 to 0, would send checks to more than 150 million American households, set up enormous loan programs for businesses large and small, pump billions of dollars into unemployment insurance programs, greatly boost spending on hospitals, and much more.
The Senate’s most liberal and conservative members joined together to support the mammoth spending bill, illustrating how concerned policymakers have become about the health care strains and financial pain the country now faces.
The legislation’s goal is to flood the economy with money at a time of financial near-chaos, with entire states on lockdown, many businesses closed and the numbers of infections and deaths from the coronavirus quickly on the rise.
The Senate vote sends the bill to the House, where Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) announced a vote to approve it Friday morning. President Trump said he intends to sign it immediately.
“Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said ahead of the vote, after which the chamber intends to recess until April 20 unless urgent legislative action is needed before then.
April 20th? Is he kidding?
He must know that the Senate will have to respond to an emergency before then.
On the heels of this relatively good news was some terrible economic news.
Courtesy of CNBC:
Americans displaced by the coronavirus crisis filed unemployment claims in record numbers last week, with the Labor Department reporting Thursday a surge to 3.28 million.
The number shatters the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982. The previous week, which reflected the period before the worst of the coronavirus hit, was 282,000, which was higher than expected at the time.
I am not going to blame this on Donald Trump, this would have happened no matter who was in charge.
However it officially removes Trump’s biggest strength which was running on the Obama economy that he had not yet managed to fuck up.
Without that talking point I have no idea what he runs on, because it certainly is not his ability to contain a pandemic.