President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law on Wednesday afternoon, enacting the first piece of legislation within a broader coronavirus stimulus package expected within the next few weeks.
The bill, passed by the Senate in a 90-8 vote on the same day, provides more than $100 billion dollars in various forms to Americans currently impacted by the coronavirus epidemic.
The bill utilizes the resources in the form of emergency paid sick leave, child care leave, and buffed unemployment benefits. It makes coronavirus tests free with Medicaid funding.
Cooperation between Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and the President ultimately proved crucial to the prompt passage of the legislation.
McConnell described the ongoing coronavirus economic crash as “a time for urgent bipartisan action, and in this case, I do not believe we should let perfection be the enemy of something that will help even a subset of workers.”
$100 billion is no small sum, but the bill appears to be a mere prequel to an upcoming greater stimulus package. A bill pumping up to $1 trillion dollars into the economy is currently undergoing preliminary preparation in the Senate. The Families First Act was intended to provide aid to people and communities in situations where time is of the essence.
The upcoming stimulus package, under the direction of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is said to entail a form of means-tested basic income for all Americans. Mnuchin has already alluded to the possibility of the Treasury Department cutting checks to Americans by April 6th.
Such a stimulus approach differs from the 2008 bailout, which distributed wealth to Wall Street financial institutions that were instrumental in actually creating the recession. A Coronavirus Dividend would enable spending and saving for Americans afflicted by a situation that’s essentially an act of God.
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BACK TO WORK: Ford Motors Announces They Intend to Begin Reopening Plants on Apr. 6
Ford does not want to suspend production for months because of coronavirus.
Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that they intend to begin reopening some of their plants on Apr. 6, as the iconic automaker hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will not sideline their business for long.
Ford said last week that they would be suspending all production at their facilities indefinitely. They made the decision along with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with union workers spooked because of potential exposure to the coronavirus.
While Ford wants to resume their operations as quickly as possible, their plans are not written in stone. They could re-evaluate their time frame if the coronavirus pandemic worsens over the next ten days.
“We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America, said in a statement.
GM and Chrysler have not issued any possible schedule for resuming operations at the present time. If all goes according to plan, Ford will re-open the Hermosillo Assembly Plant on Apr. 6 for one shift. It would then open many more facilities across the country on Apr. 14.
The other corporate titans of Motor City may be skittish about reopening because of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian restrictions on industry. Whitmer has issued an edict forcing all supposedly non-essential businesses to shutter until Apr. 13.
“The current trajectory we’re on seems a lot like Italy,” Whitmer said earlier this week. “We’ve got to do everything in our power to keep that from happening in Michigan.”
“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities,” she added. “The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”
While public officials like Whitmer may have the best of intentions, their forced shut-down of the economy may cause more lasting damage to the country than the coronavirus ever could.
“The situation is fluid and can change week to week,” said Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM. “We don’t have firm return-to-work dates at this time.”
Americans are desperate to go back to work as the social safety net is strained like never before during these trying times. A dubious record was set for jobless claims filed in March, with three million Americans filing for unemployment benefits. President Trump hopes to have the country back on track by the Easter holiday.
“I think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I think there are certain people that would like [the economy] to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls.”
He added: “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily — I don’t do that. But the country wants to get back to work.”
It will not be easy for President Trump to pull the nation out of the grip of media-driven mass hysteria that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
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