Second stimulus check updates: Congress to resume talks on COVID-19 relief package

My first job was stocking shelves at a local supermarket when I was 14. I started during my summer vacation and continued working two days a week throughout my freshman year of high school. 

That first winter was tough, but particularly on the eve of a northeasterner.

It became an all-hands-on-deck affair. 

We kept stocking shelves that weekend because people kept emptying them. I must have worked 12 hours on both Saturday and Sunday, but we got people ready for the storm. 

Point is: I can tell you what your congressmen did not do this past weekend, get Americans ready for the storm. 

As COVID-19 continues to ravish multiple states, with now 31 states seeing the case, hospitalization, and positivity rates increasing, our lawmakers decided to take the weekend off. 

They put a halt to negotiations that were moving at a snails race pace, with dialogue continuing today. 

Despite both sides highlighting their differences, most expect negotiations to continue throughout the week. Americans are already feeling the pinch of the expired federal help. The $600 per-week supplemental COVID-19 benefit has lapsed leaving families wondering how they will manage. 

The White House has partially sided with Capital Hill democrats in terms of the weekly supplemental aide, eviction-protection, and another round of $1,200 stimulus payments. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democratic negotiator, has made it clear she needs big money for state and local governments, unemployment benefits, and food aid.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows noted that Pelosi turned down a one-week extension of the $600 benefit in talks last week.

Pelosi is insisting on a complete package, to which Meadows hasn’t made any concessions on the almost $1 trillion Pelosi wants for state and local governments grappling with pandemic-related revenue losses.

During his Sunday-Morning Political Show’s Tour, Meadows admitted “We still have a long ways to go,” adding, “I’m not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term.”

Pelosi said she’d consider reducing the $600 benefit for states with lower unemployment rates. 

Republicans want to cut the benefit to encourage beneficiaries to return to work.

Pelosi has countered “But in this agreement, it’s $600,” Pelosi said on ABC’s ‘This Week.‘’ “Yes, they might anecdotally have examples, but the fact is, is that they’re subjecting somebody who gets $600 to the scrutiny they won’t subject some of the people that are getting millions of dollars”

And the discussion continues.

Here’s a tip: When a storm is ravaging the country or in this case a global health pandemic, maybe you should work throughout the weekend.

COVID-19 pandemic has the US unemployment rate at 11.1% and the underemployment rate at 13.7%.

Want your elected officials to get the stimulus package done?

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JEM Contributor


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