If Rep. Greg Gianforte, candidate for governor has his way, there’ll be no more economic assistance for Montana’s state and local governments, individuals, small businesses and front-line health care workers.
Here’s the background on the U.S. House’s latest stimulus bill, from NPR:
House lawmakers on Friday approved a Democratic proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief which would include a new wave of help for state and local governments, workers and families.
The House voted 208 to 199 — largely along party lines — to pass the measure. The size of the bill represents the biggest ever proposed and it includes another round of direct cash payments to Americans, extends unemployment benefits to the end of January and adds hazard pay for front-line workers. It also expands virus-testing efforts, contact tracing and treatment.
Gianforte voted against the bill, calling it “a liberal wish list.” Both that quote, and the Billings Gazette Story from whence it came, are shallower than a kiddie’s wading pool. Gianforte continues:
“And Montana businesses, desperate to reopen, shouldn’t have to compete with expansive unemployment benefits that run through next spring. This is no CARES Act. It’s careless.”
Go back to work, says Gianforte, because your unemployment benefits are competing with Montana businesses and their ability to reopen. That’s your choice, he reasons: staying safe while receiving some compensation, or torpedoing the national economy.
The House bill is likely dead on arrival in the Senate, and Trump has stated he’ll veto it, but Democratic leadership sees it as an opening to future negotiations.
With nearly $1 trillion in aid to battered states, cities and Native American tribes, and another round of bolstered jobless benefits and direct government payments to Americans, the measure was an expansive sequel to the $2.2 trillion stimulus enacted in March, reflecting Democrats’ desire to push for a quick and aggressive new round of help.
Republicans, and even a few moderate Democrats, called the bill bloated.
The package contained a number of Democratic priorities, including $100 billion for rental assistance and $75 billion in mortgage relief. It would allocate $3.6 billion to bolster election security, and would provide a $25 billion bailout for the Postal Service, a lifeline that the agency has said is critical to its survival, but that Mr. Trump opposes.
It’s unreasonable to advance rental assistance and mortgage relief, election security and saving the USPS, they say. I say it’s a decent start and the few Democrats raising concerns need to get on board, for Chrissake.
But as the second richest member of Congress, Gianforte doesn’t see the need to continue supporting any of this, including funding for Montana’s cities, counties, small businesses and families. Does Greg Gianforte have a clue, since he wants to be our next governor, as to what is best for the future of Montana businesses and families?
That’s a rhetorical question.