A Year of Hardship, Helped and Hindered by Washington
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A Year of Hardship, Helped and Hindered by Washington

Nevertheless, Ms. Stewart worked, most happily in solitude.

By 2019, Ms. Stewart was a night watchman and living with her sister in Grand Rapids. Her sister fell behind on the fare and insisted that they move five hours away to rural Oshinke with her mother. Ms. Stewart died suddenly. “We all trust each other, which is good except not meeting with us,” she said.

With four children and conflicting parenting styles, the trailer proved to be crowded and tense. When Ms. Stewart found work as a gas station cashier – $ 10 an hour, 20 hours a week – she welcomed the escape as payment.

A few weeks later, the coronovirus hit.

President Donald J. as soon as the virus spread in early March. Trump insisted that there is no danger. “Jobs are growing fast, incomes are rising,” he tweeted. By the following week, Disneyland and Broadway were locked in and the stock market had reduced its daily losses over the decades.

While the need for Washington action was clear, the risks of a deadlock were great. Liberal Democrats controlled the House, conservative Republicans held the Senate, and Mr. Trump derided the House Speaker as “Crazy Nancy” Pelosi. Yet within a few weeks, they agreed to a $ 2.2 trillion plan.

One surprise was how much it was for the poor, a class not known for political clout. Even the poorest families are fully eligible for incentive payments – $ 1,200 for adults, $ 500 for children (some Republicans had proposed giving them less) – and at the urging of Democrats, Congress Greatly expanded unemployed benefits.

The current program was full of gaps: it only covered about one fourth Of the unemployed And replaced less than half their lost salary. Congress made extensive coverage, temporarily excluding part-time workers, independent contractors and others generally. And for four months it gave everyone a huge bonus on unemployed aid: $ 600 per week.



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