March 1, 2021

Last week, the House passed the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief/stimulus bill with no Republicans supporting it and two Democrats opposing it. It now goes to the Senate, where the Parliamentarian has already ruled that its $15-an-hour minimum wage hike is not a budget issue and can’t be included in a budget reconciliation bill that needs only 51 votes to pass. To pass, it will need every Democrat backing it and Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie.

That link tells a little bit of what’s in it, and which parts Republicans support and oppose (for instance, they oppose the $350 billion to states to replace lost revenue as a bailout for badly-run blue states at the expense of successful red states.) And here’s some more on a portion of the bill that’s being called a big giveaway to teachers’ unions and federal workers.

The bill also calls for most Americans to receive another $1400 stimulus check. Added to the last $600 check, this would fulfill Biden’s campaign promise of $2,000 checks, or so the Democrats argue.

But that’s going over like a mustard milkshake with their base. “Progressives” are burning up Twitter with angry tweets about how they voted for Biden to get $2,000 checks, and he’s already bombed Syria before they got their money. Life lesson: if you’re going to sell your vote, get the money in advance.

Finally, new figures released Thursday show that GDP grew at an annual rate of 4.1% in the fourth quarter, suggesting that the economy is already bouncing back on its own and could hit the highest expansion rate since the Reagan era in 1984. That calls into question the need for any more stimulus bills. But then, that rebound happened when Trump was in office. Considering what the Democrats are doing, it’s no surprise they assume the economy is going to need artificial respiration.

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