OPINION: With small businesses on brink of closure, Senate heads home for recess


President, Accountable.US

Washington – After Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent the Senate home for the rest of the month, Americans continue to wait on pins and needles without the help of a new COVID-19 relief package.

The Senate is taking its vacation after more than a week in which talks between lawmakers and the administration on getting American workers and small businesses new relief funds to keep them afloat ground to a halt.

The public health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19 have never been worse. Last week, the United States hit another horrifying coronavirus milestone: 250,000 deaths. And while hospitalizations nationwide are reaching record highs and the nation’s largest school system has been forced to shut down in-person learning, President Trump has effectively given up on trying to curb the spread of COVID-19.

There are more than 6.3 million Americans without work. And as mass evictions and further job loss loom on the horizon and food insecurity ravages American households, the HEROES Act — which would provide real help to workers, states, and small businesses — has yet to be taken up in the Senate despite being passed by the House months ago.

While Americans are struggling to put food on the table, maintain a roof over their heads, and keep their small businesses afloat, senators are leaving for vacation without making any progress on securing a desperately needed new relief package. Americans are in dire straits, and the president and his friends on the Hill have effectively given up on addressing the worsening pandemic and its consequences.

As the Trump administration refuses to take action to get Americans the support they need, it is also trying to hinder a smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s administration, withholding important resources and putting the nation’s health and security at greater risk in the process.

(Kyle Herrig is the founder and president of Accountable.US, a nonpartisan government watchdog group. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School.)


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