Where’s ‘relief’ in COVID bill?

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

You have likely not read the 5,600-plus pages of the recent COVID relief package, I am sure. Neither did our representatives.

Our so-called representatives in Washington have come up with a bill that will likely make you shake your heads in disbelief, and some will call those that reveal it liars.

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Several, or more, items in the bill are items that many of us, including me, would support as part of a federal budget planning exercise. I do not believe that they are COVID emergencies, nor “COVID relief.”

Among other things, the bill:

  • Allocates $35 billion to fund wind, solar and other clean energy projects. All well and maybe good, but not a Covid relief matter.
  • Includes $10 million for “gender programs” in Pakistan. Gender programs in Pakistan? Now, that is a real COVID item if I ever heard one.
  • Sets aside funds to investigate the “1908 Springfield Race Riot.” I am willing to bet that a favorite pal is working on a book or movie. Again, not COVID relief.
  • Includes a lengthy subsection titled “the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020.” Where is the COVID relief in this?
  • Two new museums on the National Mall that will focus on Latinos and women. All well and good, but kind of embarrassing. I would not want my museum to be one of the reasons suffering citizens got only $600.

Legislators are using 2019 data to determine income eligibility for checks to citizens. That means they’re using pre-pandemic income measures to determine who is eligible and who is not. So, millions of people who lost their jobs or livelihood due to COVID-19 lockdowns will not receive checks because they did well back in 2019.

Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people. This bill sucks and should be revamped.


Dorien de Lusignan