Even with Joe Biden as the 46th President-elect, many Americans continue to wonder about the fate of the next stimulus check. A check that continues at a stalemate with Congress’s unwillingness to agree on the matter as negotiations continue on, with Republicans and Democrats unable to agree on the size and content of such a bill.
The stimulus in question would amount to around 2 trillion dollars and give $1,200 stimulus checks to those eligible. With 1 in 3 US adults struggling to pay for basic expenses and an unemployment rate of 6.9%, the stimulus is arguably much needed in such a time of economic toil.
And yet, even with all the issues that COVID-19 has wrought, the bill has not yet arrived, mainly credited to the difficulties in compromising between the two parties.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi levied blame on the congressional Republicans, citing the lack of agreement on certain aspects of the bill. However, negotiations over the actual size and details of such a bill should be acknowledged in taking account of why exactly it took so long.
From the Republican proposal of over $500 billion to Pelosi’s refusal of a $1.8 trillion plan to today’s $2.2 trillion, the pathway for congressional consensus is almost entirely blocked.
The lack of a congressional blue wave in the election bodes worryingly for the state of the stimulus, as Democrats will most likely lack the congressional power they hoped to garner, and it might very well be back to the drawing board for Pelosi.
Mickey Simwenyi, a local healthcare data analyst, offers insight into not only a working resident, but also a medical professional’s perspective of the matter. He offers the worry for the indirect dangers of a stimulus check denial, saying, “I think about if a small business no longer can operate, how that will affect the owner, mentally, physically, emotionally, and also the indirect effect it will have on their families. It can break up a family because of financial woes.” Simwenyi brings up a concern that many people share, that a lack of inaction ends up hurting those who need it the most, like the backbone of America, business owners.
An RHS student voices her opinion on the stimulus saying that “The lack of action in congress due to the stimulus package is concerning for one main reason for me is because the stimulus package needs to focus on small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of America and 60 to 70% of the workforce in our country is due to small business and when we’re not helping these small businesses thrive and survive there’s indirect effects that can cause long-term disaster for America. Being a Healthcare Executive, I think about if a small business no longer can operate how that will affect the owner of mentally physically emotionally and also the indirect affected or have other families can break up a family because of financial woes so these are the things that people don’t think about your day I could you can take take take take what you think about the financial burden what does indirect effects from a healthcare profession that really concern me not think as if we don’t we don’t take action will start feeling these strains in a couple months or so.”
This month-long struggle in negotiation isn’t unrecognized by the American people, and it draws attention to the fallacies of Congress. No matter what, the people will be watching to see who actually helps the people. However, in the meanwhile, Biden’s new induction into the White House offers hope to those who are in need of the bill. It could be his word and influence that finally helps to give aid to the American families who need it.
Graphic: Vivian Yuan