For updated global info & data on COVID-19, please click HERE.For updated global data & graphs on COVID-19, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases and death counts in USA by state, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida via Florida COVID Action, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida, via Florida state government, please click HERE.The Senate worked through Friday night and passed its version of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on Saturday, March 6, 2021, after spending hours to come to an agreement on unemployment benefits. The plan will be taken up by the House on Tuesday or Wednesday before heading to President Biden’s desk for his signature. This colossal package, the American Rescue Plan, provides money for vaccines, schools, small businesses, and anti-poverty programs such as expanded child tax credit that would mean new monthly payments to many parents. The Senate bill will provide $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits until September 6, 2021, and another round of stimulus checks. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports for Weekend TODAY, in the video published on March 6, 2021, “Senate Debate On $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill Goes Through The Night, TODAY“, below:
More details about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, in the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package proposed by PresidentJoe Biden to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoingrecession. His plan is for Congress to pass it as one of his first bills into law through the 117th Congress. First proposed on January 14, 2021, the package builds upon many of the measures in the CARES Act from March and in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021from December.Beginning on February 2, 2021, Democrats in the United States Senatestarted to open debates on abudget resolution that would allow them to pass the stimulus package without support from Republicans through the process of reconciliation. The Senate voted 50–49 to approve the resolution, and the House voted 218–212 to approve the resolution. A vote-a-rama session started two days later after the resolution was approved, and the Senate introduced amendments in the relief package. The day after, Vice PresidentKamala Harriscast her first tie-breaking vote as vice president in order to give the Senate final approval to start the reconciliation process, with the House following suit by voting 219–209.On February 8, 2021, the Financial Services and Education and Labor committees released a draft of $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation. A portion of the relief package was approved by the House Ways and Means on February 11, setting it up for a vote in the House. The legislation was also approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure, Small Business, and House Veterans Affairs committees. On February 22, the House Budget Committeevoted 19–16 to advance the bill to the House for a floor vote.The bill passed the House by a vote of 219–212 on February 27. All but two Democrats voted for the bill and all Republicans voted against the bill. A modified version passed the Senate on March 6 by a vote of 50–49.
379,000 jobs were added in February, 2021. The current unemployment will run out on March 14, 2021, so decision will definitely will be made before that deadline.
Following the Senate COVID bill for $1.9 trillion stimulus American rescue plan, President Biden delivers his remark in the video published on March 6, 2021, “Biden on Senate passing $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill“, below:
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to debate and vote on the Senate-passed version of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, in the video published on March 9, 2021, “LIVE: House Debates, Then Votes on Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Covid Stimulus Plan“, below:
Senator Bernie Sanders said, “The only way that we are going to raise the minimum wage is through reconciliation or ending the filibuster. In my view, I do not see in the foreseeable future getting significant support from Republicans.” in the video published on Feb 24, 2021, “Sanders: ‘There’s Not One Republican Who Will Support A $15 Minimum Wage’, All In, MSNBC“, below:
Even John Oliver discussed the many obstacles that impede access to unemployment benefits, often by design, and why the entire system needs to be rethought, in the video published on March 8, 2021, “Unemployment: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)“, below:
Representative Katie Porter understands that the bill can be a lot to wrap your head around, so she went live on Instagram (find her by searching @RepKatiePorter) to dive into key components of the American Rescue Plan- disaster relief legislation that will get direct help to families, small businesses, and state and local governments, in the video published on March 11, 2021, “Rep. Katie Porter Breaks Down the American Rescue Plan With Her Whiteboard“, below:
Did you know that independent contractors and gig workers don’t typically qualify for unemployment benefits? Recipient rate for unemployment benefit of some states is only around 10% (in Florida, it is 11%). Black workers are more likely to become unemployed but less likely to receive unemployment benefits.
Poor technology, deep benefit cuts, and absurd eligibility requirements can come together to break a vital social program. Case in point: former Florida Governor Rick Scott dramatically cut the state program during his tenure by cutting employer contribution per covered employee in unemployment taxes per year from $319 to $50, the lowest in the country and less than one-fifth of the national average. Some of the requirements to receive Florida unemployment benefits were: documenting contacts with 5 employers per week, reduce total benefits by slashing number of weeks one may receive benefits, and 45 question online exam testing reading, math, and research skills which was found to be violating federal non-discrimination law by Department of Labor Civil Rights Division, etc. in 2015. State auditors flagged Florida’s unemployment system cursed by bad design and lax oversight, in Miami Herald on March 4, 2021, with video published on May 4, 2020, “FL Gov. Ron DeSantis – May 4, 2020 Reopening” that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that his inspector general will investigate the contract with Deloitte Consulting to produce state’s unemployment website, which had failed repeatedly.
Given all of these issues involved in unemployment benefit system, it is a high time not just to discuss COVID Relief Bill but also a permanent system in place, such as UBI (Universal Basic Income) aka Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend that would provide a floor for all, regardless if one is employed or unemployed. With such a system in place, no employers would need to pay into unemployment insurance for any of the employees and no unemployment benefit will be needed. Money would be directly sent to the American adult citizens, no questions asked and no testing would be required. In light of the future higher unemployment rate resulting from automation-robotics-artificial intelligence, our government needs to prepare for the need of a simple and effective system less likely to be corrupted. At the moment, UBI (Universal Basic Income) gets my vote.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.comAny comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at [email protected]
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via [email protected]
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