Coronavirus relief measures are expiring, and more aid is needed to prevent more economic issues, but partisan politics is holding the relief hostage. Republicans and Democrats have reached a deadlock where each side likes to blame each other for the lack of compromise. Unfortunately, this situation has become common for any issue in congress and it has significant effects on many American lives. Many households in the US are at the edge of financial collapse and a delay or reduction in payments could push many people into a financial crisis. The battle for whether the government should lower the aid it provides could result in a financial disaster that rocks the economy for years to come.
The economic freefall that a lack of renewed unemployment benefits could create has several major ramifications. The first possible major impact is a massive spike in homelessness especially in urban populations. Cities would be forced to grapple with the homelessness and the riots simultaneously which would strain local resources. The second major possible impact of an economic freefall is that many barely surviving local economies could see a second wave of bankruptcy’s that permanently damage the economies of all 50 states. The second bankruptcy wave would effectively wipe out any restaurants or local businesses already reeling from current conditions. The third possible major impact of the economic freefall would be a national spike in missed housing payments for low income families. The eviction crisis that could arise as a result would have far-reaching effects in every community. Politicians should be keen to release aid to help save their reelection chances(and the economy), but partisan ideals have taken Washington hostage.
The lack of action from Washington reveals a deep political divide between both parties about government aid. Democrats are proposing a large comprehensive support bill, while Republicans are offering a much smaller aid bill. The sheer ideological divide between the parties means that an aid bill is likely to take multiple weeks to be agreed on. The welfare of millions of US citizens is now stuck in a political no-mans land and neither side is willing to step into the minefield because their reelection changes could be negatively impacted. The problem with this wave of partisanship is that congressmen become more extreme in response to the other side which does not benefit anyone. The partisan nature of the current congress could have drastic consequences when it comes to the November elections.
With the public having little faith in the sitting government and partisanship on the rise, incumbent politicians might be facing the roughest year in recent political history. The partisan dilemma has led to multiple states that promoted false ideas about the coronavirus becoming warzones with hundreds of deaths per day. Multiple states have had gubernatorial approval ratings drop by 10 percent or more. Congress has had disapproval ratings of around 70% for multiple months in 2020 which is disastrous for any sitting senator now. The upcoming election is slated to be a slaughter for any politician that publicly downplayed the coronavirus in previous months; However, given the current situation in the US a political culling is probably a good thing.
Sources: https://la.curbed.com/2020/6/12/21288028/homeless-population-number-los-angeles, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/07/29/trump-pushes-short-term-fix-unemployment-insurance-eviction-moratorium/, https://www.statista.com/statistics/207579/public-approval-rating-of-the-us-congress/, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/politics/coronavirus-relief-bills-house-senate.html, https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/509722-governors-approval-ratings-drop-as-covid-19-cases-mount