Small Business Finance News

Pandemic Relief Bill Passes In Senate

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 3/8/2021

Stimulus package includes stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for many Americans, and billions of dollars for states, municipalities, small businesses, schools and Covid-19 vaccine distribution.

With more than 18 million Americans looking for jobs and many small businesses struggling, the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill passed earlier this week by the Senate will come in the nick of time.

Covid-19 Relief Bill and Stimulus Package

Not surprisingly, no Republican senators voted for the bill.

The GOP's objection was ostensibly the price tag of the relief bill, but many have pointed out the hypocrisy in that stance.

After all, in 2017, Senate Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which disproportionately benefited the ultra-rich and large corporations while adding $1.8 trillion to the national debt.

Senate Republicans were so intent on delaying the passage of the bill that they required that the entirety of the 628-page stimulus package bill be read on the Floor of the Senate last week. This is allowed, but it's rarely done -- so clearly it was just an effort to obstruct.

Republicans followed the page-by-page reading with a flurry of amendments they offered for consideration, many in the spirit of Trump's effort to make America great again by rolling back the country's progress on diversity and inclusion.

For example, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) offered an amendment that would block funding to any schools that allow transgender athletes to participate in women's sports. Believe it or not, that amendment was only defeated by a 49-50 vote. Wow. Really?

Though Republicans may have vigorously opposed getting relief to struggling Americans, the relief bill is incredibly popular with Main Street Americans, and the stock market is responding positively to the bill's passage.

The Dow has zoomed to a record high as investors cheer the approval of the stimulus package.

We should all be cheering.

Getting money into the hands of struggling Americans is the best way to help people while simultaneously stimulating economic recovery. (We certainly would have recovered from the 2008 recession much more rapidly if the GOP had not blocked stimulus funding then.)

Trickle-down economics has always been a scam, but trickle-up economics is the real deal. It increases the velocity of money, which is the ultimate driver of economic growth.

The only downside is that a good portion of the domestic spending spurred by the stimulus bill will benefit foreign countries, most notably China, due to the strong dollar and a weakened manufacturing sector in the United States.

In addition, efforts to get the Federal minimum wage increased stalled early in the pandemic relief bill negotiations, so the government once again failed its working-class constituents in a big way.

But these are problems and challenges for another day.

For now, we needed relief, and we needed an economic shot in the arm.

We got both, and that's a lot to cheer about.

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