It’s Time to Pass a Coronavirus Bill. Let’s Get On With It.

I am very much in favor of compromising with Republicans and passing a coronavirus aid package. The strongest pushback I’ve gotten over this has been from fellow liberals who argue that it might help Donald Trump. It also might help a few Republican senators who are on the edge of defeat. If winning control of the presidency and flipping the Senate are the top items on the progressive agenda right now, then anything that endangers it, no matter how important, needs to be put off. It’s just too risky.

This is all true. I accept it. Except for one thing: it’s our last chance to help people who have been devastated by the coronavirus shutdowns and are likely to be even more devastated when the winter surge gets going. If Joe Biden wins the election, as seems likely, Republicans will steadfastly refuse to pass anything. Period. Nobody will ever get any assistance of any kind.

This is a perennial liberal weakness, but there you have it: I can’t abide the thought of making people suffer over political gamesmanship. This probably means I’m willing to settle for a bit less than the most hard-nosed negotiation would produce, but in a case like this that doesn’t bother me. Time is running short, and holding out over the gain or loss of an additional 10 percent in the HEROES Act—or a few minor regulations about how the money is spent—is just too dicey for me to accept.

Nobody will thank us for this. Most voters will never even realize that liberals are responsible for there being any assistance at all. If anything, it will probably help Republicans slightly. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but this is the business we’ve chosen. Let’s get on with it.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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