This piece was originally published in the December 1, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“This isn’t stimulus, it’s emergency relief.”
— Sara Nelson, the leader of a union representing thousands of flight attendants
Keep wearing a mask — lives depend on it.
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IN THE NEWS
- Negotiations over a much-needed coronavirus relief and economic stimulus package are still ongoing in the halls of Congress. A bipartisan group of Senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced a watered-down proposal this morning with several notable drawbacks, including measures to shield businesses from liability and the lack of another stimulus check. Even so, the plan is widely expected to be a non-starter in the Senate.
- So what is Congressional leadership saying? Speaker Pelosi was set to speak with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin today, but it’s unclear how much progress was made in their talks. Then, Mitch McConnell announced that he intended to merge the stimulus talks with another looming crisis awaiting Congressional action: Funding the federal government.
- This starts the clock on a ten-day deadline to pass the funding bill — a bill that would, under McConnell’s plan, include Congress’s final attempt at a stimulus package before the year is over. As some have pointed out, merging the two spending bills is likely an excuse for McConnell to spend even less on both COVID relief and government spending — a win-win for him and other self-proclaimed “deficit hawks” who oppose spending even when it’s what the American people are begging for.
- Later this afternoon, McConnell released his own stimulus plan, which at first glance appears to carry over much of the drawbacks from the bipartisan group’s proposal. This situation is changing by the minute, so we’d recommend following reporters like Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) and Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) for the latest on stimulus talks tonight.
In tomorrow’s What’s Trending?, we’ll take a deeper look at how the left and right are talking about Biden’s recent appointments. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox in the morning.
- If you aren’t among the millions of Americans who are personally experiencing the consequences of months without federal aid, here’s a reminder of what’s at stake. According to the AP, some landlords and local governments are flat-out ignoring the nationwide eviction moratorium that will remain in effect until December 31.
- That means tenants like Tawanda Mormon, who fell behind on her rent after being hospitalized for COVID-19, are still being evicted. And according to The Guardian, 5.6 million American households were struggling to put food on the table in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said in a tweet on Monday that the next House spending bill will not include the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding anti-choice policy. The amendment, which has been a part of every federal budget since 1976, prohibits Medicaid funding from being used for abortion services, which severely curtails abortion access for low-income Americans.
- “We are in a moment to reckon with the norm,” DeLauro wrote in her announcement. “Because of Hyde, too many are hostage to their geography.” DeLauro is the outgoing co-chair of House Democrats’ Steering Committee, and she took the lead in a preliminary vote this afternoon to decide the next leader of the influential House Appropriations Committee.
- And finally, some news on the vaccine front. A vaccine advisory panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control was slated to vote today on which groups will receive priority consideration when a coronavirus vaccine is ready for distribution. The panel is expected to put health care workers and nursing home staff at the top of the list. Once the CDC reviews the panel’s recommendations and guidance on distribution procedures, it will release it to the states for their reference when the first round of doses are available.
WHAT WE’RE READING