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Bay Area legislators call for Senate to pass stimulus bill

Rep. Anna Eshoo: 'The health of our democracy is just as important as the health' of its constituents

At a virtual briefing on Aug. 5, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, argued that funding for the Postal Service is of similar importance to extending unemployment benefits. Embarcadero Media file photo by Sadie Stinson.

A group of Bay Area federal legislators on Wednesday called on the U.S. Senate to pass a House-approved COVID-19 stimulus bill that includes relief funding for state and local governments and extends the distribution of enhanced federal unemployment benefits.

Reps. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Jerry McNerney, D-Antioch, held a virtual briefing Wednesday to demand an extension of the $600 per week in expanded unemployment benefits that was included in the first coronavirus relief bill in late March.

The benefits expired last Friday, something Thompson laid at the feet of Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"Senate Republicans went home last Friday and they let these benefits expire," Thompson said. "Too many people in my district are dependent on these benefits to get by."

Some 30 million people in the U.S. have relied on the expanded unemployment insurance included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to the group of legislators, that includes roughly 3.2 million Californians.

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The House's coronavirus relief bill -- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act -- extends federal unemployment benefits for those who have lost their job due to the pandemic as well as funding for state and local governments teetering on insolvency and the U.S. Postal Service.

McConnell and negotiators in the Trump Administration have balked at extending the temporary $600 per week payments, opting instead of payments of around $200 per week.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested on Sunday that the benefits disincentivized people to return to the workplace and, in some cases, amounted to more than people were making when they were employed.

Thompson threw cold water on Mnuchin's argument, citing studies from Yale University and the Brookings Institution that found scant evidence of unemployment benefits disincentivizing peoples' search for work.

McNerney suggested the cut in benefits would force his constituents and people across the country to choose between paying rent and paying for essentials like food and medical care.

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"It's asking some to choose between the needs of their children and the needs of their parents, of whom are completely dependent upon them," he said.

Thompson and McNerney argued that House Democrats have already made their offer and Senate Republicans haven't negotiated in good conscience.

"The Senate needs to put something on the table that we can work with," McNerney said.

Eshoo argued that supportive funding for the Postal Service is of similar importance to extending unemployment benefits as the country lurches closer to a general election that is likely to generate a surge of mail-in voting during the pandemic.

Postal Service officials have warned federal legislators that the agency will be bankrupt by September if it does not receive federal aid.

"The health of our democracy is just as important as the health" of its constituents, Eshoo said.

McNerney argued that every day the Senate does not negotiate in good faith over the next coronavirus relief bill is another day that they're failing to support the American people.

"I've seen a desperation in my district and I'm sure it's going to get worse," he said. "We need to act now."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Bay Area legislators call for Senate to pass stimulus bill

Rep. Anna Eshoo: 'The health of our democracy is just as important as the health' of its constituents

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 1:31 pm

A group of Bay Area federal legislators on Wednesday called on the U.S. Senate to pass a House-approved COVID-19 stimulus bill that includes relief funding for state and local governments and extends the distribution of enhanced federal unemployment benefits.

Reps. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Jerry McNerney, D-Antioch, held a virtual briefing Wednesday to demand an extension of the $600 per week in expanded unemployment benefits that was included in the first coronavirus relief bill in late March.

The benefits expired last Friday, something Thompson laid at the feet of Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"Senate Republicans went home last Friday and they let these benefits expire," Thompson said. "Too many people in my district are dependent on these benefits to get by."

Some 30 million people in the U.S. have relied on the expanded unemployment insurance included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to the group of legislators, that includes roughly 3.2 million Californians.

The House's coronavirus relief bill -- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act -- extends federal unemployment benefits for those who have lost their job due to the pandemic as well as funding for state and local governments teetering on insolvency and the U.S. Postal Service.

McConnell and negotiators in the Trump Administration have balked at extending the temporary $600 per week payments, opting instead of payments of around $200 per week.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested on Sunday that the benefits disincentivized people to return to the workplace and, in some cases, amounted to more than people were making when they were employed.

Thompson threw cold water on Mnuchin's argument, citing studies from Yale University and the Brookings Institution that found scant evidence of unemployment benefits disincentivizing peoples' search for work.

McNerney suggested the cut in benefits would force his constituents and people across the country to choose between paying rent and paying for essentials like food and medical care.

"It's asking some to choose between the needs of their children and the needs of their parents, of whom are completely dependent upon them," he said.

Thompson and McNerney argued that House Democrats have already made their offer and Senate Republicans haven't negotiated in good conscience.

"The Senate needs to put something on the table that we can work with," McNerney said.

Eshoo argued that supportive funding for the Postal Service is of similar importance to extending unemployment benefits as the country lurches closer to a general election that is likely to generate a surge of mail-in voting during the pandemic.

Postal Service officials have warned federal legislators that the agency will be bankrupt by September if it does not receive federal aid.

"The health of our democracy is just as important as the health" of its constituents, Eshoo said.

McNerney argued that every day the Senate does not negotiate in good faith over the next coronavirus relief bill is another day that they're failing to support the American people.

"I've seen a desperation in my district and I'm sure it's going to get worse," he said. "We need to act now."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Aug 6, 2020 at 5:59 pm

So last week we had 167,000 new hires.

We lost 1,100,000 jobs that same week.

Please refer to the webpage titled " These Charts Put the Historic U.S. Job Losses in Perspective " (Web Link)

That is about twice the job losses we had in the peak period of great recession which was about 600,000 to 700,000 a week.

We lost only about 2.6 million during the peak period of 4 weeks during that disaster, it took to 2016 to recover the jobs from that crisis, that was 9 years.

During this crisis we lost 22,000,000 jobs in a 4 week period. If we try to recover all the jobs like the last time it will take perhaps 80-90 years.

When is everyone going to wake up that this is not fixable via a STIMULUS package, We have to go on LIFE SUPPORT mode now until the COVID crisis is over, and it is better to freeze all money for the time being, thereby all businesses will not have bills to pay along with the people. That is a fair process isn't it?


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Aug 6, 2020 at 6:25 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Aug 6, 2020 at 6:25 pm

There can seemingly never be a stimulus unless the very rich get much of the money. Plus, now relief is up against the Trump-Putin re-election campaign. For Trump to win, Americans must pretend - even to themselves - that Covid-19 is no big deal. Back to school. Back to work. Millions die. But millions in America die every year from natural causes. So Trump might even resort to calling Covid-19 "natural" unless he thinks it would be slicker to stick with the "China Virus" or the "Obama-Biden Virus." And Trump needs one other bit of help to get re-elected: a low turnout. For that, Trump will undermine and maybe even shut down the U.S. Postal Service. Get involved in the national election as if your life depends on it. It does.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Aug 7, 2020 at 5:33 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Aug 7, 2020 at 5:33 pm

Now comes the real damage because you cannot expect those with privilege and ability to be protected from the loss that COVID cuased to protect anyone else.

Trump claims he will issue an executive order.

Like all of the other times he said he would provide some kind of plans or information in "two weeks" when asked by a reporter or interviewer.

HE NEVER GET TO PROVIDING IT

It is not going ot happen, and the GOP and the White House just signed the economic death certificate.


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