Chicago mayor tells McConnell to ‘stop with the nonsense’ on virus relief
The outspoken mayor says the Senate majority leader needs to make a stimulus package happen to help states and cities that need it
Lori Lightfoot has never been one to mince words. Now the Chicago mayor has set her sights on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Even before he once again rejected a stimulus proposal late Thursday that would leave cities and states empty-handed during a time of incredible economic strain, Lightfoot was growing impatient with his tactics.
“I hope what Democrats in Congress will say is, ‘Over my dead body,’” the mayor said Wednesday during a press briefing about plans to distribute the vaccine for COVID-19 in Chicago. “Every single town and municipality in this country is hurting. Blue, red, purple; independent mayors, Republican mayors, Democratic mayors.”
While there have been pockets of bipartisan support for writing a new round of stimulus checks, Politico reports that McConnell has “pressed negotiators to drop two of the biggest sticking points in the talks: Democrats’ desire for state aid and Republican hopes for liability protections for employers potentially facing COVID-related lawsuits.”
“I know that there’s a lot of posturing that goes on in Washington, D.C., but dear God, stop the nonsense,” Lightfoot said pointedly. “Get something done. We are hurting here in the heartland and all across our country and we need the federal government to step up and do their job.”
“To basically turn your back on state and local governments at a time when we are hemorrhaging and looking at severe service cuts, putting people out on the streets, and unemployment, cutting back on services that actually could be a stimulus to the economy — that’s unbelievably short-sighted,” she concluded.
To her point, due to COVID-19’s impact on tax revenue, Chicago is one of many cities across the nation that has suffered immeasurable financial losses as a new round of restrictions was announced due to an uptick in cases and deaths over recent weeks.
But the city will have to wait even longer for relief as McConnell once again stopped short of making a deal, putting the kibosh on what looked like a consensus on key points on Thursday night.
As per CNBC, McConnell is still hoping to push through a $500B bill that leans heavily on more PPP loans, which have been dogged by allegations of potentially billions of dollars of fraudulent disbursements. McConnell’s current plan would not include another stimulus check, nor would it extend federal unemployment benefits, set to expire at the end of the year.
Though McConnell ultimately did offer to dump the liability provisions, he wouldn’t budge on other areas. Democrats want jobless benefits and state and local aid to remain part of the package to help keep those impacted by job losses solvent while a vaccine begins to be distributed.
On Wednesday, per CNBC, the deadliest day of the COVID-19 outbreak was recorded as 3,124 Americans died of the virus.
As the House will adjourn until next Tuesday, the wait to see if a bipartisan pill can pass will continue.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!