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Senator Tillis and his Republican allies in the Senate “think they have political cover to leave town after 52 GOP senators voted last week for a targeted $500 billion to $700 billion coronavirus relief bill,” but the truth is, the sham bill falls dramatically short of what North Carolinians actually need right now. Even the President doesn’t think it goes far enough.
If Senator Tillis wants to dust off his hands, pack up, and head home, here’s what he’s coming back to:
Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians remain out of work, and because of inaction from Washington, they are left relying solely on the state benefits, gutted by Tillis when he was Speaker of the House. After the federal benefits ran out in July, North Carolinians were left with “one of the stingiest unemployment programs in the country.”
Notably absent from the Senate GOP’s “skinny” bill was relief for state and local governments, “which face unexpected expenses as they attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 and contend with massive revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic,” and is something that mayors across North Carolina have been asking for for months. Not only did Senator Tillis leave out this critical relief, but in Monday’s debate he dismissed it as a bailout for “failed states.”
Cal Cunningham has heard directly from local leaders across North Carolina. Here’s what Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan asked of Senator Tillis: “In order for us to give help, we need help. So we need the federal government to help us.”
The Washington Post reported that Senate Republicans “don’t seem especially worried that inaction on a new coronavirus stimulus bill will damage the Republican Party’s hope of maintaining its Senate majority,” but it’s clear, including by the president’s own standards, that the bill falls short. Senator Tillis can try to hide behind this sham bill, but North Carolinians won’t be fooled, as hundreds of thousands are still struggling through this crisis. And instead of helping them, he’s looking out for himself.
By Alexander Bolton – September 17, 2020