May 15, 2020
We are facing the worst pandemic in 100 years, with over one million infected with COVID-19 and a death toll approaching 100,000. Unemployment is the highest since the Great Depression.
If ever there was a time when we needed to come together as a country to help each other and do what’s right, now is that time.
The House of Representatives is set to vote on the HEROES Act, a massive $3 trillion relief package to help people and state and local governments that are struggling.
The bill isn’t perfect, but it helps renters, homeowners, the homeless, farmers, Veterans, the Postal Service, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. It extends broadband access, which is a huge issue in this district, to facilitate online healthcare and education. It opens up VA healthcare to Vets who are not otherwise eligible if they’ve lost their insurance coverage. It beefs up the Inspectors General to provide more stringent oversight. It provides funding to make sure we can have a safe and secure election in the fall. There are times when deficits and debt are appropriate, and this is one of those times where a crisis makes it necessary.
Ordinary Americans are hurting and this bill will help, but it’s not a giveaway to big corporations and rich like the GOP favors.
So why, with so many dying and the economy in shambles, are we getting more hate and division? Here’s what the campaign manager for Lynda Bennett, Republican runoff candidate in the 11th District, said about the bill that will bring hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Western North Carolina: “Pelosi’s bill bails out states who busted their budgets with wasteful spending,” Bryan Hood told the Asheville Citizen Times. “Why should a North Carolina taxpayer send their tax dollars to Illinois or New York to bail them out of their bad decisions?”
How is that constructive? How does that bring us together as a country?
As for Madison Cawthorn, the other Republican runoff candidate, he apparently hasn’t taken the time to review this critical piece of legislation. “It’s more than 800 pages long,’’ he told the Citizen Times. “No one has had a chance to read it. It mentions the word ‘cannabis,’ like 68 times. But I think it mentions the word ‘jobs’ maybe in the 40s and low 50s. My question is what is this bill really about?”
Here’s what Cawthorn didn’t bother to find out: The bill is actually over 1,800 pages long. It mentions “health” and “healthcare” over 1,000 times and uses the words “work,” “worker” and “workers” hundreds of times.
What is the bill really about? It’s about finding ways to help us through the worst crisis this country has seen in our lifetimes.