Frequently, President Donald Trump and other national Republican leaders have insisted upon restraint in developing Coronavirus relief funding. There’s even been reporting that Republicans have been plotting to essentially extort states into reopening their economies via withholding additional federal financial aid as long as social distancing demands remain in place. In stark contrast, this Thursday during an appearance on MSNBC, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were collaborating on a new Coronavirus relief funding package that would be “Rooseveltian” in scope and include attention to the needs of the people on the front lines.
Congress has already designated some half a trillion dollars in support for a Federal Reserve-orchestrated loan fund to keep financial markets afloat, but many marginalized individual Americans are still struggling amidst the staggering economic tolls of the pandemic. Last week, a staggering 3.2 million people newly filed for unemployment benefits, marking the seventh straight week of seven-digit levels of unemployment claims and bringing the total number of people newly out of work amidst the crisis to the stunning level of 33.5 million.
— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) May 7, 2020
Schumer told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle:
‘We need big, bold action. [Democrats] are working very closely together on putting together a very strong plan, which you will hear shortly. We need Franklin Rooseveltian-type action and we hope to take that in the House and Senate in a very big and bold way. The people like McConnell and McCarthy and even Trump who say, ‘Let’s wait and do nothing,’ well, they remind me of the old Herbert Hoovers. We had the Great Depression — Hoover said let’s just wait it out. It got worse and worse.’
Acting like the president who led the United States into the Great Depression isn’t exactly great. Trump and his allies have tried to focus on the potential for economic growth after the setbacks of the social distancing demands amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, but if thousands of Americans keep dying each and every day due to the virus, there’s not going to be some kind of chance for a magic reset of the economy.
As for his solution, Schumer explained:
‘We got to have the same focus, even a stronger focus on the people — the working people, the average people who are suffering as well. We need the same kind of big, bold, tough action. We need action here to help average folks. We’ve done some in the House and Senate, we need to do a lot more.’
Those additional benefits that Democrats want for hardworking Americans include hundreds of billions of dollars in support for struggling state and local governments who have been hard hit. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican and the chair of the National Governors Association, has called on Congress to appropriate an additional half a trillion dollars for the support of these local governments.
It’s unclear what kind of support for these plans that Democrats might be able to accumulate from Republicans. Trump consistently sounds like he wants to simply wish the problems of the Coronavirus out of existence.