The looming stimulus deal is a dispiriting harbinger of the endless gridlock to come

Seven months after the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act that died in the Senate, and days after the U.S. COVID-19 death toll eclipsed 300,000, congressional leaders are on the verge of finalizing, at long last, a second round of stimulus spending for the beleaguered U.S. economy.

The rescue package is likely to include direct payments to all Americans, funding for vaccine rollout and delivery, and an extension of unemployment benefits as well as much-needed aid to small businesses. The total price tag looks to come in at around $900 billion. Left out, as far as we know, will be funding for cash-strapped state and local governments, a worrying sign that Republicans are bent on returning to their pre-Trump commitment to pointless austerity now that Democrat Joe Biden is headed to the White House.


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