As the national emergency continues, politicians are busily adding unrelated items to the Coronavirus bill and refusing to vote for it unless they are included. Here’s a partial list:
· Expansive new tax credits for solar and wind energy.
· New emissions standards for airlines and requirement of full offset by 2025.
· Increased collective bargaining and carve outs for unions.
· Required same-day voter registration and early voting.
· A bailout for the U.S. Postal Service, for the union pension fund, and for student loans
· Retirement plans for community newspaper employees.
· Requiring publication of corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards.
· A requirement for companies receiving assistance to pay a $15/minimum wage.
· $1 billion “Cash For Clunkers”-style program where government buys planes from airlines.
· $1.5 million to study climate change mitigation efforts in civil aviation and aerospace industries.
· New OSHA requirements on hospitals.
· $1 billion to build on program expanded by President Obama that provides discounted phone service for low-income consumers, aka the “Obama phone.”
There’s more coming to light this evening:
- Pay off $10,000 in student debt per person.
- Requires federal agencies to explain to Congress how they are increasing their usage of “minority banks.”
- An automatic extension of nonimmigrant visas and restrict colleges from providing information about citizenship status.
- $35 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.