Six weeks ago, Congress passed a stimulus package called the HEROES Act, a follow-up to the CARES Act with a number of major relief programs for Americans still suffering under the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the package were an extension of the $600 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation supplement, which the Union fought to include freelancers, $100 billion for a rent assistance program, $10 billion for small business aid, and a second stimulus payment of $1,200 for every American citizen.
The bill was handed over to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared it was not necessary and that he would not put it up for discussion. Senate Republicans claimed that the country was on track for a seamless reopening, and the economy would rebound on its own.
Now, as we look to the end of this month, when the PUC program is set to expire, the state of our local economies are still uncertain. States that moved to reopen too quickly are seeing massive spikes in COVID-19 case numbers and are now backtracking, re-closing bars and restaurants and causing untold damage to the small business owners who just pumped cash into their businesses to be able to reopen.
This Friday, Senators will take