It feels like ages since Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act back in March. That legislation provided temporary assistance for families and small businesses affected by COVID-19, but “temporary” can only last so long. For many of us, a $1200 stimulus check barely covered one month’s worth of rent and essentials. Minnesotans are still out of work, and small businesses are still struggling to stay afloat.
The clock is ticking. It’s time for a refresh.
What’s at stake
Pandemic unemployment assistance expires at the end of the year. So do eviction protections that are keeping millions of people off the streets. Student loan forbearance ends in February. And many of the other benefits of the CARES act have already run out.
If Congress doesn’t pass another COVID-19 relief package soon, many Minnesotans could find themselves in an even greater crisis.
What conservatives want
True to form, conservatives are looking out for their corporate buddies. Mitch McConnell and conservatives in the U.S. Senate are insisting on liability protections for corporations. That means that if your company fails to take steps to keep you safe from COVID-19, they don’t want you to be able to file a lawsuit.
Conservatives are also advocating for a limited package that leaves out many of the benefits of the CARES act. That’s bad news for the many Minnesotans who are still struggling to make ends meet in light of the crisis.
What progressives want
Meanwhile, progressive legislators are fighting to put people first. They’re working to extend many of the benefits of the CARES act into 2021.
Progressives want state and local aid for our communities and small businesses. Economists say that’s the right way to go, but conservatives continue to stand in the way.
To protect families from losing their homes, progressives are also fighting for eviction protection and rental assistance.