As President Donald Trump counts down the days to his departure from the White House, will he leave a legacy? Or will he simply leave behind public infamy?
On Sunday, December 27th, just hours after the federal unemployment benefits expired for around 14 million citizens due to Presidents Trump’s refusal to sign the bill, he enjoyed some more time on the golf course. Of course, the $600 per person part of the bill was not going to do much for most American households, especially those with major pandemic-related losses. “This package is nowhere near enough, $600.00 per person for 6 months? They really think families can survive on $100 a month per person?”, said Robert Ponsor. “What reality are these people living in? It’s not even a band aide. People are hurting and our government obviously does not care.”
The unemployment benefits and the eviction moratorium extensions, which ends in four days if not signed, are essential. Those receiving small unemployment checks weekly depend on those payments in order to pay for their food and utilities, and only few can afford to pay rent with the sharp cut from their regular paycheck. This standoff can cause a delay or even a missed weekly unemployment payment. President Trump stated that the $600 was not enough, but him not signing the bill may hold up much-needed extensions to eviction protection and $25 billion in rental assistance for those who suffered a pandemic-related loss of income. “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” said President Trump in a Tweet on Saturday.
When the bill was agreed upon, members of congress believed that President Trump would simply sign it and the payments of $600 per person would be on their way to households all over the United States by early this week. Prior to the bill voted on by congress, President Trump did not speak out against any part of the bill.
Since 2017, when President Trump went into office, unpredictability was the one thing American citizens could actually count on. In the Trump spirit, he leaves the most badly affected American’s lives in limbo as he fights for $1400 more per person, of course, at the expense of taxpayers.
Rather than working for the citizens everything has been a simple power grab for both the Republican and Democratic representatives. Despite the division, congress came to an agreement, which included $900 billion of coronavirus relief. The looming veto of the bill also leaves government workers in fear losing their income due to a partial government shutdown, which will begin on Tuesday if the bill is not signed or if Congress can not agree on a more Trump-friendly plan. Still, congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote in the Senate and the House.
With the over 1.76M dead worldwide and over 333,000 American’s dead due to the global pandemic, we are inarguably living in unprecedented times. Compared to the flu by those attempting to minimize COVID-19, the flu is far less deadly, killing approximately 34,000 people in 2018-2019, and 61,000 in 2017-2019. These are numbers for Americans who were not required to use face masks and social distance for the flu. So far, 333,000 Americans have died as a result of COVID-19 and unfortunately, the numbers are expected to increase due to the holiday surge. That is The vaccine was a first glimpse at the tiny light under the long and dark 2020 tunnel. This threat to veto the bill will also affect the $9 million in state vaccine funds.
With the alarming numbers and sharp increases of COVID-19 cases, the economy repeatedly has come before life in statements by the president, “There’ll be more death, the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine,” President Trump said in May 2020. This came only months after he said that his goal was to have everything open for Easter, likely attempting to appeal to Christian voters. Americans out of work, those who have lost their businesses, or others who have had their business income cut drastically due to the pandemic feel little relief with the bill. Without it passing, many American households fear losing even more, including the roofs over their heads.
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