Thursday, December 24, 2020

Families on the Economic Brink as Congress' Christmas Relief Bill Crashes

It's bad.

At WaPo, "Families on brink of eviction, hunger describe nightmare Christmas as $900 billion relief bill hangs in limbo":

Millions of Americans who are hours away from losing unemployment aid or the small business they have spent years building have a simple plea to President Trump and Congress: Please help us.

The Washington Post has been inundated with messages and phone calls from people on the verge of losing their homes and cars and going hungry this holiday who are stunned that President Trump and Congress cannot agree on another emergency aid package. Several broke down crying in phone interviews.

Some blamed Trump for torpedoing a $900 billion relief package at the last minute. Others agreed with Trump that the proposed $600 checks for over 150 million American households was too little, too late and should be raised to at least $2,000. Others blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for not taking a deal in August.

But most told The Post they are “not political people” and are struggling to understand why Congress and the president would be able to celebrate Christmas when 14 million Americans are slated to lose unemployment aid on Saturday, the government is set to shut down on Tuesday, and an eviction moratorium that has prevented millions from losing their homes during a pandemic ends on New Year’s Eve.

Waitress Robyn Saban summed up the sentiment of many: “I’ve worked for 18 years at a diner under very hard conditions. I never called in sick except when my husband died. And now Congress is just leaving town. It makes me furious because they are leaving people hanging.”

Saban, 57, has been out of a job for nearly 10 months. The diner where she worked is up for sale.

Below are 10 voices that represent a cross-section of ages, races, political views and professions of the millions of people who are caught in the crosshairs of the stalled fight in Washington, D.C. over more aid...

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