Seven months since the U.S. first went on lockdown, the government has yet to offer more aid to its citizens since the original stimulus package.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he instructed his representatives to halt negotiations until after he wins the election. He blamed Nancy Pelosi for asking for a $2.4 trillion bailout, noting “we made a very generous offer of $1.6 trillion.” In the same Twitter thread, he called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to focus on approving Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Later that night, Trump tweeted he was ready to sign off on a stimulus bill “right now.”
If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy? @MarkMeadows @senatemajldr @kevinomccarthy @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Absence of action
The U.S. government has yet to provide any financial relief to its citizens since the original stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, which offered up to $1,200 per person. In a country where nearly 25 percent of Americans have no savings, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites 12.6 million people remain unemployed.
“While the combined effects of fiscal and monetary policy have aided the solid recovery of the labor market so far, there is still a long way to go,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said to the National Association for Business Economics.
Powell noted managing risks will require listening to medical experts, such as wearing masks and following social-distancing measures. He said not enough support would lead to a weak recovery, while “the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller.”
A reform in visa protocol
One definite action Trump took, citing concerns for a “fair and level playing field” for American workers, was to reform H-1B visa program requirements. Yesterday’s announcement explained that the Department of Homeland Security is tightening standards so that “foreign workers show specialized merit to establish eligibility.”
Trump says that placing a temporary pause on allowing non-citizens to come to the U.S. to work will help the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. However, a study by the U.S. Department of Labor said the perception that immigrants take jobs from Americans is “the most persistent fallacy about immigration in popular thought.”