Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his sidekick Senator Susan Collins (R) of Maine do not support another round of COVID-19 aid. But roughly 7 in 10 voters disagree with them, according to a press release received today, Saturday, May 16, from Morning Consult, a market research company. “Providing economic stimulus to mitigate the effects of the pandemic should be the top priority for Congress,” is the attitude of most Americans.
Yesterday, the US House passed a $3 trillion piece of legislation, The Heroes Act. According to a press release issued by the office of Chellie Pingree (D) last night, the Act includes:
- $875 billion in state aid and local funding, including more than $5 billion for the State of Maine and its localities. For example, Portland would receive about $92,445.765 in 2020 and $46,222.883 in 2021.
- $75 billion in funding to further national and state testing and contact tracing initiatives and $110 billion in funding for providers to keep their doors open.
- Extend pandemic unemployment benefits through January 2021.
- A second round of stimulus checks.
- Help for small businesses by extending dates for payroll forgiveness and allowing more non-payroll costs to count, and reserving 25% of PPP funds for businesses with 10 or fewer employees.
- A 15% increase in SNAP benefits.
- Require OSHA to develop protections for frontline workers, pandemic premium pay of an additional $13 per hour for essential workers, up to $10,000.
- Free, no excuse absentee vote-by-mail for every voter; $29 million in election aid for the State of Maine.
- $25 billion to preserve the United States Postal Service.
- Over $100 billion in support for education……………..during distance learning.
- $16.5 billion in direct assistance to farmers and $100 million in relief funds for American fisheries.
- $50 million for the Local Agriculture Market Program, LAMP.
“The coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives in ways we could never have imagined before today. More than 84,000 Americans have lost their lives due to COVID-19 and more than 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past two months. A crisis of this magnitude deserves a serious comprehensive response from the federal government and that’s why I proudly support The Heroes Act. This legislation addresses many complex elements of the current public health and economic crisis and will protect the health of Americans while making sure they have the resources to provide for their families. I am particularly relieved to see robust funding for state and local governments, which will make sure the state of Maine and its cities and towns can continue responding to this crisis effectively,” said Congresswoman Pingree in the press release issued by her office.
Republicans were quick to call it DOA.
Note from mhn.com: It’s noteworthy that the Republican Press Herald buried this AP story on the last page of the first section today. It’s not an important story? Apparently it is more important to try to create scandals at the Maine CDC on the front page that simply don’t exist. This is a way its editors can justify their on-going begging for donations because of a devastating and unexpected decrease in advertising revenue brought on by the shutdown. By trying to create sensational and misleading articles and then patting themselves on the back for discovering them, the editors think the public will fall for it. That is donations to keep them publishing will pour in to float their boat. At least the editors and Colin Woodard have ceased promoting Senator Collins’ re-election campaign – knowing all too well how unpopular she is around here. Promoting her will surely dry up any money spickets that are open and freely flowing.
Recently, in an email to potential donors, editor Cliff Schitman, wrote that the newsroom had been reorganized. Oh rejoice for the good news! The consequences of his frequent re-organizations of the newsroom are more reliance on the AP while the price per copy increases. Oh ring out the joyful bells in celebration of the reorganization. In all the excitement, don’t forget to sneak in a price increase.