Onward and upward

The assault on our Capitol is hard to shake. Lawmakers could have been harmed or killed, and CNN reported this morning that Mike Pence was 60 seconds from being confronted by terrorists. The FBI has more than 170 open files as it continues to arrest those involved, and Nancy Pelosi has requested that retired Lt. General Richard Honoré investigate the failed security that allowed the rioters to get into the Capitol.

According to Politico, some have further called for the investigation of Congressmembers who gave tours that appeared to be “reconnaissance.” Mikie Sherrill and 33 of her colleagues have formally asked for an investigation. These investigations will likely continue well into the future, but we cannot let this completely take our sights from the Inauguration of the 46th President, Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, whose administration we hope will change the lives of many.

Biden is immediately focused on COVID and has proposed a $1.9 trillion “rescue plan” that will provide relief to Americans and small businesses while jump-starting the economy. Biden proposes giving an additional $1,400 direct payment to each person to bring the total to $2,000, expand tax credits for children and childcare, and enhance benefits for the unemployed while providing food aid. In addition to direct COVID aid, Biden wants $400 billion to ensure that each person in the U.S. is vaccinated, which includes $130 billion for schools to reopen with smaller class sizes and new ventilation systems.

Biden has another ambitious goal: to drop the child poverty rate to 6.9%, which experts say would be the lowest since 1967. Biden further wants to address raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Biden’s plan will likely draw opposition from Republicans, who will suddenly be concerned about the deficit, though they will never blame Trump’s tax cuts for the rich. We all know how this works: If the Republicans add money that increases the deficit, we hear crickets. As soon as a Democrat makes a proposal, they are up in arms. The benefit for Biden, at least in his first two years, will be a Senate majority, though some issues still require bipartisan support. Another benefit for Biden is all his years in the Senate. Bill Hoagland, a former Republican aide, called Biden “an astute student of the Senate” and believes he will be able to negotiate with them to get the economy going again.

In his most recent speech, Biden spelled out how borrowing now while interest rates are low will benefit future growth. Biden, like the rest of us, knows that in our divided country, he must bring something to the American worker that will benefit even those who refuse to let go of Trump. If Biden is successful early in his term, he will ease pressure while benefitting the masses. That is what you call a “win-win.”

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