Rep. Porter: Giving Americans money to pay for food and shelter and heat is not ‘stimulus’

Rep. Porter: Giving Americans money to pay for food and shelter and heat is not ‘stimulus’

On Wednesday, Rep. Katie Porter made waves when she grilled Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin on his counter-productive move to clawback hundreds of billions in stimulus money, pretending that the ongoing economic and public health crisis was somehow over. On Thursday, Chris Cuomo had Rep. Porter on his CNN show to ask her about Mnuchin and what she believes is the best course of action to take in regards to helping Americans through our continuing national crisis.

Cuomo began by wondering why all of this money, the money that Congress signed off for stimulus, did not get spent, while Trump and friends and big business and banks all seem to have done swimmingly by way of stimulus. Rep. Porter tried to remind Cuomo and his audience that the lack of oversight “baked into” the original relief package, something that progressive Democrats tried to have included in the package deal. She explained that the money Mnuchin and others were trying to pull back could still be used to help out states and localities and small businesses in need.

But Porter wasn’t there to answer question that Cuomo should have already long ago reported on, she was there to make sure that the lack of “stimulus” checks to families and Americans—checks cut by the Federal government and sent directly to Americans with no strings attached—be included in the newest iteration of a “bipartisan” COVID-19 relief package.

Cuomo asked what could be done to help Americans right now and Rep. Porter went through the issues with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (Disclosure: Kos Media received a Paycheck Protection Program loan), and how poorly distributed the funds were to many much smaller businesses in need. Cuomo pointed out that Trump and Jared Kushner’s businesses seemed to be at the front of the line when it came to getting banks to lend them some of that sweet taxpayer money, and Porter agreed that one of the ways around this was to cut out banks and send payroll monies directly to Americans by way of the Paycheck Recovery Act

The Paycheck Recovery Act was introduced by Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington in May of this year. The piece of legislation does not put taxpayer money into bank coffers, it goes directly to Americans to replace lost wages and to cover lost health insurance. Rep. Porter says that using IRS wage data and unemployment information, targeting those in serious need can help to “make sure that the government funds are going directly to support payroll, to support wages, to keep families out of food-bank lines and off the streets, from being homeless.” This, unlike Republican plans, that conveniently leave out oversight, would make the process considerably more transparent.

So when Cuomo asked about the very small “bipartisan” relief packages proposed by people like Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, Rep. Porter was clear on why checks are absolutely essential to anything Congress should pass during this crisis: “On of the things that’s making me really frustrated right now is when I hear people talk about this as ‘stimulus.’ Let’s be clear, it is not stimulus money to give people money so they can feed themselves. So that they can keep heat on in the winter. So they can avoid eviction. That’s not ‘stimulus.’ That is basic needs that we’re talking about needing.”

Hear, hear.

You can watch the whole interview below.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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