In the $900 billion follow-up COVID-related economic relief bill finally agreed to by Congress on Sunday, each American is set to receive a $600 stimulus check, constituting 50 percent of the first stimulus payment provided by the original legislation.
The long-awaited bipartisan compromise prompted Twitter user Eli Yudin to quip about the potential pittance that “Members of Congress got paid $130,000 to spend 9 months arguing about whether we deserve $600.”
U.S. Senators and House members, who haven’t lost a dime in income during the pandemic, receive a base salary of $174,000 per year plus lavish benefits. They get more if they serve in what might be euphemistically called the leadership.
The legislation that could be voted on as early as today also includes extended unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week. Taxpayers will reportedly receive $600 for each dependent.
Against the backdrop of millions of private-sector Americans who have been furloughed or lost their jobs, and the businesses that have shut their doors permanently as a result of coronavirus-prompted lockdowns, journalist Adriana Cohen pointed out that “Power-hungry governors, mayors and other government officials throughout the country are taking home paychecks while shutting down small businesses and restricting millions of workers from earning a living and providing for their families…
“We’re operating under a grossly unfair and unethical system where almighty government officials don’t suffer any financial hardship during the pandemic while taxpayers — who fund their salaries – get kicked in the shins,” she added.
Members of Congress got paid $130,000 to spend 9 months arguing about whether we deserve $600
— eli yudin (@eliyudin) December 20, 2020
Cohen also highlighted a few among the long list of hypocritical Democrat elected officials who have flouted their own coronavirus restrictions, including Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is facing a potential recall.
State and local government workers have not lost a paycheck during the pandemic either. That also holds true for teachers and their union representatives who continue to vehemently oppose the resumption of in-person, K-12 learning.
According to the Washington Post, “The single-biggest expenditure in the legislation is about $325 billion in business relief, including about $275 billion for another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding. The legislation also includes $45 billion for transportation needs such as state transportation departments and Amtrak, $82 billion for schools, $20 billion for vaccine distribution, and $13 billion for a major expansion in food stamps.” An additional $.14 billion for the border wall is also reportedly included.
Optimists can hope that this massive amount of government spending will ultimately trickle down to rank-and-file workers, the cohort that should be the primary beneficiaries.
Upon announcing the deal that he brokered with Democrat counterpart Chuck Schumer, GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called out Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding up the legislation because they were dead-set against giving President Donald Trump a win:
“The package that will shortly become law falls exactly within the ballpark of what Senate Republicans have been proposing and trying to pass since last summer…There is no doubt this new agreement contains input from our Democratic colleagues. It is bipartisan. But these matters could have been settled long ago. So why did it take all this time? We know why.
“We have heard Democrats say openly that they were not willing to deal all summer and fall, but are willing now, because they now have a President-elect of their own political party. That’s not my accusation … that’s their admission.”
Here is a sample of the response, seemingly from across the ideological spectrum, to the direct-to-consumer stimulus check to be doled out by the feds:
$900,000,000,000 (size of coronavirus stimulus)
330,000,000 (🇺🇸 population)
$2,700 per person. That’s $2,700 for everyone man, woman, and child.
Congress said we only get $600.
Where’d rest of the money go? pic.twitter.com/3yusICzrku
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) December 21, 2020
Insane no one is outraged they get paid so much via our tax dollars. CEO’s have stepped down taken pay cuts. People have lost their jobs and careers. Yet these politicians are still getting paid fully to do a sh*t job. But police brutality is the problem. @AOC @SpeakerPelosi
— Timothy (@TheSpiderKingBK) December 21, 2020
I wonder how many Democrats in Congress could survive on $600 of "stimulus" money if we suddenly took away THEIR paychecks for 10 months?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 21, 2020
A reality show where every member of Congress has all their pay and assets frozen, their taxpayer-funded health care taken away and we give them $600 to live on
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) December 20, 2020
Pelosi wouldn’t answer my question about why the $900 billion deal is more acceptable to her than the $1.8 trillion offer Mnuchin made to her this fall.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 21, 2020
What a scam. Open up America. You people are beyond useless. https://t.co/1tHa2FEA1b
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) December 21, 2020
$600 won’t stimulate a damn thing.
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) December 21, 2020
$600 is a slap in the face.
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) December 21, 2020
Since 12 million households are more than $5000 behind in rent, $600 should cover it.
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) December 20, 2020
RINO’s are really just deep state that say they are republicans
— @GalwithMerit (@GalwithMerit) December 21, 2020
Simply printing more green folding paper is not a solution. It’s the end of every person who has saved anything f/the future. @senatemajldr is just another part of the endless grift of the Uniparty. Time has come to end these people or accept that we are now serfs (aka slaves).
— james madison (@jamesmadison501) December 21, 2020
“Rescue package” translation: Unnecessarily pissing away more taxpayer dollars.
— Professor Moriarty (@FireUpElQuattro) December 21, 2020
The best stimulus is a JOB!
— Sam (@Sam73801575) December 21, 2020
Take my $600 and give it to some restaurant owner.
— Niklas (@Niklas_Paull) December 21, 2020