Now that the people have elected Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president, and with Donald Trump on his way out, it’s time to get to work on a stimulus package for everyone who is still struggling amidst this crisis.
While unemployment is falling, too many Americans are still in need of immediate assistance. Families need help to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.
Small businesses need more grant and loan programs like the Paycheck Protection Program that will help them survive the pandemic and get them to 2021 and beyond. Eating and drinking establishments need this package to include the RESTAURANTS Act, which will help them stabilize while indoor dining is still limited.
The MTA and Port Authority need an infusion of funding to keep services robust, and to fill in the gaps in their capital plans. The MTA has repeatedly asked Congress for action to no avail.
Finally, state and local governments need relief to avoid the slashing of social services and other austerity measures. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have taken a “wait and see” approach, and now that Democrats are walking into the White House, they must leverage their relationships to ask for funding.
On Monday, the mayor said he’s convinced that a Biden-Harris administration will get a stimulus big enough to “help New York City and New York State get moving.” He said he would start those conversations immediately.
“The fact that there will be a Biden administration is now really creating energy in Washington for stimulus even quicker,” he said, “and if it’s a good one, if it’s a fair one that really focuses on what people need, but also what cities and states need to get back on their feet, that could be a blessing for sure.”
Even with Biden in the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ready to negotiate, they will still likley have to deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell needs to feel the same urgency for a stimulus package as our local leaders. Hopefully, all sides will negotiate in good faith and provide relief for everyone while we continue to battle the coronavirus.