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Even Republicans will remember who abandoned them during the pandemic

Frustration of those who are awaiting the fate of the extra $600 for unemployment.

/Ben McCarthy

2020 has been anything but prosperous for everyone in the world. It seems that every week we are hit with another trial and every hour a new headline appears on the news predicting more doom and gloom. It can be extremely difficult to find a silver lining with anything that is going on in the world today. For many, we are specifically watching what is going to happen with the unemployment $600 bonus. 

Many, like myself, have had to file for unemployment for the first time in their lives and others are having to apply again much to their chagrin. We’ve had to sit and watch the Republicans go on an extended July 4th vacation, leaving the fate of those unemployed lost and stressed. For many, I do not have to explain the anxiety and stress that comes with waiting for their decision. The sleepless nights and the constant watching of the headlines. 

The Heroes Act passed by the House and drafted by the Democrats has been sitting at the Senate since May 15th. Just to have it sit with no action from the Republicans of the senate who claimed it was “Dead on Arrival”. This is a story we have seen far too many times. A Republican owned Senate who is out of touch and sluggish to react to the very real issues of the Nation they’ve sworn to represent. 

While Mitch McConnell wants to believe that the $600 is a disincentive for returning to work most economists believe that this extra payment should stay until the economy starts to show significant signs of recovering. That coupled with increasing trend of Coronavirus cases should be incentive enough to act swiftly and protect not only the economy, but more importantly those affected by the fallout. 

Especially in Michigan which is known for its strong manufacturing base. We have only begun to see the fallout from the shutdown earlier this year. Automotive numbers are low and have been sluggish to recover. Not to mention the downward trend earlier in the year likely caused by the trade war ignited with China. 

What it leaves are thousands wondering how to pay their mortgage or rent. Basic survival needs to protect themselves and their families. This should be the last thing people should worry about. Especially considering all the other things to worry about in this time: health, kids education, and finding a new job. Now, the republicans seem to fine with allowing the $600 to lapse while they debate within their own party over details of their bill. 

Yes, there will be more direct payments sent out, which may be the only saving grace to those out there, but that one-time payment can only last so long. Many companies are still not hiring which creates a surplus of the jobless out there all bidding for the smaller bucket of available jobs. 

What is so frustrating is that the Senate had plenty of time to do anything about this. Instead they sat and did nothing. I think what makes this difficult for many is that this is not a Republican vs Democrat issue. This is solely a Republican issue. The Democrats drafted and proposed the Heroes Act. The new Republican bill has yet to even hit the floor as of today and they’ve been discussing this since returning from their leave. This is due to in-fighting within their own party. 

This November many estranged Republicans will be hitting the polls and the wounds will still be fresh. Will the wounds be enough to have them jump ship? That I do not know, but many who ride that line in the middle will definitely remember this time. They will remember sporadic disorganized and disconnected Republican leaders who didn’t have their back when they most needed it. 

During re-election years the important question to ask is: “Are we better off than we were 4 years ago?” How would you answer that question today? Furthermore, we could even look at Trump’s campaign promise: “Make America Great Again”. If Trump’s vision for a great America was one of an eroding economy and civil issues that have so deeply divided our nation that people have lost friendships, family members and even lives then I suppose he was successful. If you ask me though; how is it that we can “Keep America Great”, if all we’ve done is eroded the very two things that made it great in the first place. Economic Strength and Unity.

Each one of us has their own journey to take. I hope that whatever bill they propose will protect those who need it and that this Coronavirus dwindles, and our economy picks back up quickly. It doesn’t look likely, but I am still hoping to find a silver lining in the clouds above.

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