WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid ongoing COVID-19 surges across the nation, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly made an offer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a $916 billion coronavirus relief package. Unfortunately, like all other moves by the Trump administration and its congressional allies to get the ongoing public health and economic crises under control, the proposal does far too little for the American people.
“Mnuchin’s offer simply doesn’t do enough to help Americans who have waited months for some form of adequate relief to reach them as CARES Act resources have slowly dried up,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “Small business owners, workers, and their families are treading water — but instead of bringing a rescue boat, Mnuchin has thrown them floaties and left them to struggle another day. Lawmakers must pass a relief bill that doesn’t make the same mistakes as the first one — a bill that ensures aid actually reaches small business owners and families, not just the wealthy-and-well connected.”
Mnuchin’s plan would cut jobless benefits and offer only a one-time $600 check — slashing the value of the direct checks distributed through March’s CARES Act in half and leaving the record number of unemployed Americans out in the cold.
The bill would also extend Trump’s poorly designed and badly implemented Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which new data last week revealed is even more rife with fraud and abuse than previously known. Without addressing the gaping holes in the program’s transparency and oversight, the PPP would likely continue its trend of primarily serving larger, more affluent and well-connected companies at the expense of struggling mom-and-pop shops — especially those in communities of color.