While COVID-19 vaccines are on their way, the impact of the pandemic has worsened in the United States due to large gatherings, holiday travel and the ongoing resistance of some to wear a mask. Eviction rates are climbing, contributing to more COVID cases, bankruptcies are up too, and small businesses are struggling to stay afloat or closing their doors forever.
The Washington Post reported that Republicans are coming around to finally passing funding.
It has been more than six months since the House passed the HEROES Act, which would have provided the necessary funding to help Americans make it through the final slog of the pandemic. President Donald Trump said that he supported the bill, even telling Democrats that he would be fine doubling the bailout. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to allow a vote, however. After holding up negotiations and refusing to meet with Democrats, McConnell now is complaining that the stimulus is important and “we just don’t have time to waste time.”
"Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) signaled their openness to the package, which had been unveiled by a group of moderate Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday," said the Post. "The measure is more than what Senate Republicans had originally offered but less than what House Democrats had wanted, but it is designed to try and provide immediate relief to some parts of the economy as the pandemic enters a dangerous and increasingly deadly phase."
“I think we are getting very close. I want it to happen,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Thursday.
The sticking point between Democrats and Republicans has been that McConnell wants a legal protection for corporations so they can't be sued for the next five years if they put employees in danger. There's already a lawsuit underway after a Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo, Iowa lied to employees about safety. The suite revealed that managers were even making bets about how many of the staff would get COVID-19. So far, over 1,000 workers caught the virus and five have died.