This top story about the latest stimulus package is from our daily newsletter which was published on December 23, 2020. To have this and more delivered directly to your inbox scroll down and enter your email or click here to sign up.
Top story from the Associated Press: “President Donald Trump blasted the bipartisan $900 billion pandemic stimulus package that Congress just passed and is suggesting that he may not sign it. The President complained in a video that he tweeted out Tuesday night that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to Americans.” Here’s what both sides had to say about the blended stimulus-spending bill:
In Agreement: The stimulus package, which includes $600 checks and enhanced unemployment benefits, is sorely needed but pundits across the political spectrum think the delayed response due to political infighting might be too little, too late. Both right and left-leaning outlets and commentators are not thrilled about the limited review and special additions tucked into the bill. Take a look:
On the Left: In an op-ed for the New York Times, Matthew Zeitlin begins with this: “If this bill, which also includes new public health funding, were in response to a normal recession, its measures would be seen as a gargantuan effort. But in these times, several voices are reasonably arguing that it’s not enough, that it came too late and that it was driven by unsavory politics as much as it was by the needs of the population.”
On the Left: Jeffrey D. Sachs. a professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, echoes Zeitlin’s remarks in an op-ed for CNN. He says: “We don’t really know the bottom line, as there has not yet been a budget ‘score’ by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Even more problematic? Congressional leaders have not sought or welcomed an open national deliberation about best uses of the stimulus funds.”
On the Right: Over at Fox News, Megan Henney strikes a similar tone of disappointment. She says, “a raft of unexpected items that are not directly related to government funding or pandemic relief efforts [are included in the bill], such as establishing two new branches of the Smithsonian museum near the National Mall, creating national standards for the horse-racing industry and making illegal streaming a felony.”
On the Right: Further out on the fringe, Breitbart News wrote that “For some countries, Christmas came early.” The new stimulus bill allocated $169,739,000 to Vietnam, $198,323,000 to Bangladesh, $130,265,000 to Nepal, $505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, $461,375,000 to Colombia, and millions to Pakistan for “gender programs.”
Flag This: Both sides are discouraged. This is why only 15% of the public says they “approve” of the way Congress is handling its job according to Gallup. Both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden said last night that more stimulus is needed. The meme above sums up the sentiment that many Americans—both Republicans and Democrats—are feeling about lawmakers in Washington.