• Jackie Vanegas

The Coronavirus Relief Bill - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Photo Courtesy of Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Regardless of class, gender, and race, we can all agree on one thing: All of us have been impacted by COVID-19.

But amidst this crisis, what has the government done to help us?

In April, Congress passed a $484 billion relief bill which was geared for small business funding, testing, and hospital funds. $60 billion for small-business disaster loans and grants, $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for coronavirus testing. In addition, over $321 billion was allocated towards the Paycheck Protection Program, a lending program designed to help small businesses stay afloat with forgivable loans during the crisis.

While Congress continues to dedicate money to the PPP program, the funds run out quickly. In fact, the first round of PPP funds in March ran out in less than two weeks and the PPP funds allocated in April’s relief bill are quickly diminishing. As a result, it is imperative that Congress continues to fund this program in order to alleviate small businesses throughout America.

However, while House Democrats approved a proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief, its future is uncertain.

This bill includes another round of stimulus checks, an extension of unemployment checks, and expanding COVID-19 testing and contact tracing initiatives.

But it is facing major opposition.

The Trump administration has said that if this bill were to be passed, President Trump would veto it.

In addition, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy opposes the fact that the package offers another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans - despite the current status of our economy.

As disagreements, quarreling, and rising tensions occur within Congress, millions of Americans are suffering economically, physically, and mentally.

There have been over 1.75 million cases and over 100 thousand deaths from COVID-19.

As those who refuse to give more relief aid, jobless claims made throughout the U.S have surpassed to over 40 million.

As corporations continue to exploit workers and capitalize off of small business programs, they have received over $532 billion in Federal COVID-19 bills.

And as testing continues to be a major problem throughout this country, only $26 billion out of $3.3 billion has been given to testing specific funding.

People are suffering and lawmakers need to understand that.

Many have children to feed, family members to support, pay their rent, and pay their bills.

Many want to go back to work but there are numerous Americans who are limited and some that still cannot safely return.

It is imperative that lawmakers protect small-businesses and the American people. Not big corporations.

We are not just figures or numbers. We are people - Americans.

Americans who deserve relief, Americans who need a more thorough testing system, and Americans who need to be prioritized over large corporations.

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