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BRONX TIMES R 12 EPORTER, JAN. 1-7, 2021
BY BRONX TIMES
That hundreds of thousands of
Americans have died, and millions
more have been sickened, during the
COVID-19 pandemic this year is painful
enough. The economic crisis that
came with the pandemic only compounds
So why is SenateMajority Leader
Mitch McConnell dabbling in vagaries
when it comes to helping Americans
get back on their feet economically?
First, McConnell ignored Congressional
Democrats, and the pleas of
Americans, for months when it came
to providing additional economic aid.
Then earlier this month, McConnell fi -
nally agreed to something: a watered
down stimulus package providing $600
payments to every American.
President Trump was barely involved
in the negotiations that resulted
in the fi rst stimulus package. Then he
waltzed in to play the hero and demand
an increase from $600—as agreed
upon on Dec 20—to $2,000 in stimulus
checks. For a week, he refused to sign
off on any kind of stop gap for the citizens
who spent Christmas wondering
if fi nancial destitution would be their
next certainty before fi nally relenting
and signing it Dec. 27.
But Trump’s $2,000 demand caused
further dissension among the Republican
rank and fi le — bookending a sea
change in which Trump and Republicans
have slowly but surely fractured.
Way back in the middle of January,
only one lone dissenter—Sen. Mitt
Romney off all people—voted against
Trump’s impeachment. It was as if a
gag issue had been ordered, a non-disclosure
order of totalistic obedience
signed in a musty basement prior to
all offi cial Senate appointments. This
herd mentality displayed by the very
people who are imbued with power
and—are supposed to— channel the
voices of the world’s most diverse nation.
was astounding, and confusing.
In October, an odd thing happened.
Republicans began—via media leaks,
and never actions—to criticize their
It started with Texas GOP Sen.
John Coryn who, in a deeply misogynistic
manner, likened the state of
American politics to that of a woman
scorned: “like a lot of women who get
married and think they’re going to
change their spouse, and that doesn’t
usually work out very well.”
Now McConnell’s refusal on the
$2,000 payment plan further widens
the internal Republican chasm, but at
a major cost to Americans. As usual,
they pay the price for Republican antics.
Is it at all possible that some expediency
could be asserted on a fi rm fi gure
stimulus bill to lift one weight off
of our beleaguered shoulders?
Stimulus check limbo…
FILE PHOTO: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after a
lunch with Republican senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 30, 2020.