Both Sides Have Overplayed Their Hands

This is my stimulus update for Monday, August 24.

Poll Results

First of all, poll results.  Yesterday I asked all of you what you believe, other than stimulus checks, to be the most important item that Congress should pass for the people.

I gave you five options, granted there are more things on the table than these five options, but YouTube polls limit you to five options, so I threw out there extending unemployment, school K-12 funding, COVID-19 funding, eviction and foreclosure moratorium, and hazard pay.

#1 choice by far was extending unemployment, 42% of you all believe that other than stimulus checks, unemployment is of paramount importance, eviction moratorium was next with 21%, then hazard pay with 20%, and then COVID-19 funding with 10%, and finally school funding with 7%.

Democratic and Republican Stimulus Strategies Have Both Failed Miserably

And so where are we at right now?  Frankly last week I had some good vibes, literally hundreds of Democrats and Republicans in the House, you know, the rank-and-file men and women from small towns, from neighborhoods in big cities, who were elected by the people in their district to represent them and to be their voice on Capitol Hill, we saw hundreds of Congressmen and Congresswomen last week rising up and telling their leaders that they want compromise, they want another stimulus bill to happen for their constituents who are struggling right now.

But their leaders have turned a deaf ear.

In my opinion, both the Republican strategy and the Democratic strategy with respect to the next stimulus bill have both failed miserably, and it’s all about the election, it always was, and the people are just pawns in the game.

Let’s start with Democrats.  Democrats were the first to act on a second stimulus bill with their $3 trillion plus HEROES Act.  They knew full well that this bill had no chance, no chance of becoming law, and you know that because it had things like environmental justice grants in it, no Republican in his or her right mind would agree to something like the HEROES Act except for Pete King of course, who I told you about, so while the HEROES Act was never intended to pass in the first place, what it was intended to do was to give Democrats a bit of moral high ground and the ability to tell Republicans, “look what we did back in May, we want to give $3 trillion to the people, you G.O.P., you want people to starve, you need to vote them out in November.”

And maybe that tune was believable for a while by some.  But this past weekend we saw the Democratic strategy for what it really was.  Pelosi calling back the House to vote on a USPS bill while literally hundreds of members of her own Democratic caucus wanted to talk stimulus for their constituents, and she said no.

And then you have the Republicans, the G.O.P.  What was their stimulus strategy?  Wait and see, wait and see, it seems like almost every day throughout June and early July I told you about another Republican politician being asked about stimulus and he or she responding, “well, you know, we just have to wait and see, you know we haven’t spent most of the CARES Act money.”

“Those Democrats?  They want to balloon the debt, they want to steal from your children and grandchildren in the name of a three trillion dollar liberal wishlist.  You need to vote them out in November.”

But the G.O.P. waited far too long, only coming out with their HEALS Act the last week of July with the unemployment benefits statutorily expiring at the end of that week and already having ended for most people for all practical purposes the previous week.

Household Struggles

They loitered for months and now we have 29 million U.S. adults saying that their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat during the preceding seven days.

We have 40 million households projected for eviction by year’s end.

And we have millions of Americans wanting a stimulus check wanting a stimulus checks that everybody agrees on, for the most part, Trump, Pelosi, Schumer, Meadows, Mnuchin, but it’s not here, why?  Because of these failed Democratic and Republican stimulus negotiation strategies, what a disaster.

And really the only news from the weekend is Mark Meadows and Nancy Pelosi trading barbs.  Basically, just to sum up the weekend, like I told you Mark Meadows wanted to talk to Pelosi on Saturday about stimulus, she wasn’t available and called Meadows “what’s-his-name”, Meadows ran down a list of things that he thinks Republicans and Democrats can agree on (including stimulus checks), he called the Post Office bill simply a “political statement” (which it is), and Pelosi of course blamed the Republicans.

More bickering, more nonsense, no checks in sight.

Unemployment News

In unemployment news, it looks like Texas and Louisiana will potentially be the next states to start delivering the $300 payments to eligible claimants in their states, with Arizona being the first having started last week.

Last week a Texas spokesperson, Cisco Gamez, said the payments could come as early as this week.

And last week Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that he could commit to checks rolling out this week in his state.

Also, over the weekend, California announced that it has received approval for $4.5 billion from FEMA to start paying the $300 weekly to eligible claimants for three weeks with potential additional amounts coming in the future.

Also, as I told you in my original video on Trump’s unemployment memorandum, you would need to be receiving at least $100 in weekly regular unemployment benefits, including PUA, in order to qualify for the $300 plus-up, but New Hampshire has said that it will be making changes to its unemployment system to increase the minimum weekly payment to $100 so everyone unemployed in New Hampshire would be eligible.

Currently, only nine states have a minimum weekly unemployment level of at least $100, those nine being Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Washington.

Arkansas, Idaho, and Virginia are also looking into methods to get the federal plus-up to those currently receiving less than $100 in unemployment weekly.

Of course, several other states have been approved for the $300 weekly but have not yet started sending them.

Hopefully this week brings renewed interest from the powers that be in D.C. to resume serious stimulus negotiations or if not that at least work toward compromise, I don’t want to get your hopes up because we know how these people are and how they operate in D.C., but I am trying to be more optimistic with these things, I know I am generally skeptical and pessimistic about our leaders, but maybe I could be a little more optimistic.

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