This 10 December 2020 video says about itself:
Protesters in Brazil have appealed to the country’s government to extend emergency financial aid.
It has been a lifeline for millions since the start of the pandemic.
But the government wants to stop it by the end of this month.
Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reports from Rio De Janeiro.
USA: Auto parts worker dies of COVID-19-induced heart attack at Faurecia plant in Saline, Michigan. John Stamper’s death is only the latest demonstration of the need for an immediate shutdown of nonessential production, including the auto industry, in order to combat the spread of the disease and save hundreds of thousands of lives: here.
Detroit Free Press breaks silence on Fiat Chrysler COVID-19 deaths: here.
How Tyson Foods chairman John Tyson made $600 million by exposing meatpacking workers to coronavirus: here.
Stop government attack on COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones! The SEP condemns the fascistic police raid on Jones’ home, meant to suppress her work exposing the spread of COVID-19 in Florida and in schools across the US: here.
Pupils in Germany resist in-person classes and demand “consistent lockdown”. The Bremen school strike is part of a growing wave of resistance by students against the herd immunity policies of the European governments: here.
I am writing to share with you two reasons this COVID-relief debate is so important: one which is easy for everyone to understand, and one no one is talking about.
First, we are obviously in an unprecedented moment in American history with extraordinary suffering happening all across the country. One out of four workers are either unemployed or making less than $20,000 a year, more than 90 million Americans are uninsured or under-insured, tens of millions of people face eviction, and hunger in America is exploding. And the American people understand that in a democratic civilized society, we cannot have more desperation out there than at any time since the Great Depression.
So Congress cannot leave unless we get at least $1,200 in direct payments for every working class adult and at least $500 for their children. Not $300. Not $600. $1,200 at a minimum. More than that, we must extend supplemental unemployment benefits and get adequate aid for cities and states.
Here in Washington, there’s endless amounts of money for war. Congress is about to pass a $740 billion defense spending bill and no one seems to care about the price tag there. Tax breaks for billionaires? Endless amounts of money. Corporate welfare? Endless amounts of money.
Now when children are going hungry in America and so many families are struggling, suddenly we don’t have enough money? Wrong.
Further, this isn’t the $900 billion bill everyone is claiming it to be. It includes $560 billion passed and unused from the CARES Act. Which means there is only around $360 billion of “new money” in this bill.
Remember, several months ago the Democratic House passed the HEROES Act of $3 trillion. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin offered $1.8 trillion for an agreement, but now somehow we have been reduced to accepting $360 billion in “new money.” That is not acceptable.
Secondly, here is something else not many people are talking about:
And that is that this bill will set the agenda for the first two years of the Biden administration. Are we going to have austerity economics, or are we going to have a progressive agenda that meets the needs of the working people of this country?
When Trump was president, spending money was not an issue. But now my Republican colleagues are so deeply worried about the national debt once again.
If we are concerned about the debt, we need progressive taxation, we need to end corporate welfare, we need to end the bloated military budget, but we do not need, in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, to punish working families who are hurting so badly today.
And if we allow Republicans to set the agenda, to set the parameters of the debate, the next two to four years will be a disaster.
If you want a Green New Deal or even support for Biden’s climate proposal, where is the money going to come from? If you want to expand health care or rebuild our infrastructure, where is the money going to come from?
So the question is, are we going to return to Mitch McConnell’s austerity politics, or are we going to build a dynamic economy that works for everyone and not just the 1 percent?
So it is our job, today, to send a message to the Republican and Democratic leadership that we must stand tall and fight for the working people of this country, because they need us more than ever:
Sign my petition: tell the Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate we want a COVID-relief bill that includes at least $1,200 in direct payments for every worker and $500 for their children, extended supplemental unemployment benefits and adequate funding for cities and states.
If there is any hope in this terrible pandemic, I hope that it shows us how far behind the rest of the world we are in taking care of our people, and that it inspires us to stand up and make our voices heard on issues like Medicare for All and paid family and medical leave.
Once again, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and the Senate to significantly improve this bill. The American people need our help, and what happens next will set the agenda for the next two years.
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