Americans are rapidly approaching what could be a devastating and ugly chapter in our economic history, brought on by a confluence of awful circumstances and terrible timing.
We are still in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered a vast swath of our fiscal environment. Restaurants are struggling, sports arenas are hosting few fans, (if any), and music venues around the nation are fighting for their lives.
This has created a massive unemployment issue that the federal government has only attempted to rectify once, and with a very temporary solution.
Now, as Congress works to pass another, smaller piece of COVID-19 stimulus before the end of the year, the embattled legislation is receiving some major suggestions from the White House itself.
The Trump administration dove back into Capitol Hill’s confusing COVID-19 negotiations on Tuesday, offering a $916 billion package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would send a $600 direct payment to most Americans.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the offer to Pelosi late Tuesday afternoon, he said in a statement. He offered few details, though House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said it proposes the $600 direct payment for individuals and $1,200 for couples, which is half the payment delivered by the March pandemic relief bill.
Mnuchin reached out to Pelosi after a call with top congressional GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who remains at odds with Democratic leaders over COVID-19 relief.
Another factor in our economic trouble is that the Christmas holiday is now upon us, and our nation relies heavily on consumer confidence during this shopping season in order to keep the economy afloat. Should Americans be strapped for cash, we could void this all-important fiscal boost.
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