The editors of Bloomberg urge the Congress to pass a second COVID-19 relief bill:
The shape of such a deal isn’t hard to make out. Renewed unemployment assistance of an additional $400 a week (up to a cap on income) would disappoint Democrats holding out for another round of $600 supplements. Yet the households running out of savings would doubtless prefer $400 now rather than the vague possibility of more, depending on what happens, sometime next year. More help for financially stressed states and cities is the concession Democrats could ask in exchange, and that Republicans ought to accept. Again, this might fall short of what states and cities will eventually need. Again, right now, something is better than nothing.
The ball is in Nancy Pelosi’s court now. The House passed its initial version of a second relief bill while the Senate passed it. So far Speaker Pelosi has rejected any compromise with the Senate. Does President-Elect have any influence over her? I don’t honestly know.
There were many problems with the original COVID-19 bill, passed all those long months ago, among them that it actually paid some people more not to work than to work. Reducing the supplements is a crude way of accomplishing that. Administration of the plan was obviously flawed. Can that be remedied as well?
I’m not as convinced as the editors of the prudence of bailouts for state and local governments. If we’re truly all in this together, isn’t a little belt tightening by state and local governments in order? So far we’ve seen none of that here.