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Mitch McConnell Warns of Inevitable 'Glitches' in Coronavirus Relief Bill Implementation

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While the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is sure to help millions of Americans, there will no doubt be “problems” when it comes to the legislation’s implementation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

“There are bound to be problems,” McConnell told the McClatchy news agency last week.

“You can’t pass a bill of this magnitude in a week and have a perfect implementation of $2.2 trillion, so sure there are going to be glitches.”

With lawmakers desperate to take legislative action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the bill was quickly pushed through the Republican-controlled Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support. It was then passed in the Democrat-controlled House by voice vote, and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Included in the $2.2 trillion, 880-page bill are massive amounts of funding for issues that, while arguably related to the pandemic, should not necessarily be classified as “emergency spending,” according to Forbes senior contributor Adam Andrzejewski.

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This includes $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with additional funds set aside for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and the Election Assistance Commission.

The CARES Act will cost taxpayers roughly 10 percent of the current national debt.

Pushing such a bill through Congress so quickly is bound to lead to some problems, according to McConnell.

Even before the bill was passed, four Republican senators took issue with what they said was “a massive drafting error” with the legislation.

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The “drafting error” involves $600-per-week payments over a 120-day period in addition to state unemployment benefits — which are calculated using a worker’s current salary — that those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus will receive.

According to the lawmakers, workers might be incentivized to stay home rather than go back to work as soon as they can.

In an Op-Ed for The Hill, economists Stephen Moore and Phil Kerpen explained what this could all mean for an unemployed worker who normally earns $15 an hour.

“Consider $600 a week is the pay before taxes for an employee who works 40 hours a week at $15 an hour, or 30 hours a week at $20 an hour. So not working will pay that person the $600 federal benefit on top of the regular benefit of $300 depending on the state,” they wrote.

“So it is $600 a week if you work, and $900 a week if you do not. For the minimum wage person who makes $400 a week, the effect is more extreme. The unemployment program will pay more than twice as much as working. Benefits do max out at different levels in different states but, in most, even an employee who makes $800 a week can make about $200 more on this unemployment than working.”

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New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, has found a way to get around an aspect of the legislation that does not provide direct stimulus relief for young people ages 17 and over whose parents would normally claim them as dependents, according to Fox News.

During a virtual town hall, Ocasio-Cortez explained that young people — especially college students — can get checks from the government if they ensure that their parents or guardians do not claim them dependents on their 2019 tax returns.

Despite the legislation’s issues, McConnell said he remains optimistic that the bill will do a lot of good for Americans.

“I think by any objective standard this was a stunning accomplishment,” he said.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of supervising staff reporter. His responsibilities now include directing the reporting team.
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa
Nationality
American
Education
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment




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