Both Georgia Senators are hoping their vote in favor of the latest stimulus package wins them votes. However, their policies fly directly in the face of helping Georgian’s survive the pandemic.
After learning about the severity of COVID-19 earlier this year, US Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler decided to sell stocks to make millions in profits instead of protecting the lives of Georgians—or other Americans.
Since then, 10,000 Georgians have died from COVID, and hospital beds continue to fill with patients in this third surge of cases. That is largely due to the GOP’s failure to handle the pandemic on every level. And yet, this week, both Republican Georgia Senators are congratulating themselves on voting in favor of a $900 billion stimulus package that will only go so far in easing the tremendous suffering of their constituents.
For many, the relief bill is too little too late.
With that in mind, COURIER is taking a look at exactly what Sens. Loeffler and Perdue have done to help Americans and Georgians whose lives have been destroyed by the pandemic.
Loeffler and Perdue Believe Payouts Disincentivize People from Returning to Work—Despite Continued Unemployment Records Across the Nation
Neither Loeffler nor Perdue believe Georgians deserve much in the way of relief, and have stated as much. They’ve insisted that payouts disincentive people from working. even though weekly unemployment numbers continue at historic highs.
The stimulus plan that Loeffler and Perdue are now taking credit for includes just one $600 payment and $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits that will only last for 11 weeks. Those numbers are half of the amounts offered by the first stimulus package, and both hew more closely to the GOP’s plan for COVID-19 stimulus and relief.
It will take months for the labor market to rebound, and while the payouts will certainly provide some relief, it won’t be nearly enough. Unemployment supplements provided by the federal government—which were $600 per week through much of the summer—are largely credited with keeping the economy afloat. Even President Trump has signalled his disapproval with the meager relief provided in the bill.
Despite Loeffler and Perdue’s Rosy Assessment, Small Businesses in Georgia Have Struggled—Even With PPP Loans
The stimulus bill revitalizes the Payment Protection Program for small businesses—a lifeline that thousands of business owners have desperately needed after the initial round of funding ended.
But the program, which Sens. Loeffler and Perdue both spotlit on Twitter, has been too little too late for many small business owners across the nation and in Georgia. Some 100,000 businesses have permanently shuttered their doors due to the pandemic. As of October, 12% of restaurants in Georgia had gone out of business.
A GOP Senate Including Loeffler and Perdue Would Likely Block Any Chance at Education and Childcare Funding
Earlier this fall, higher education organizations requested $120 billion for colleges and university to stay in operation. They will be receiving only $22 billion from the latest stimulus package. With enrollments taking a nosedive, the loss of income from on-campus living costs and the expense of COVID testing, the package won’t meet the needs of many institutions. It’s also not enough money for child care centers either. Some 56% are losing money.
But the threat to education isn’t just existential. A Republican Senate—with Sens. Loeffler and Perdue—could likely block all of Biden’s education proposals. That includes tuition breaks for community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities, and the cancellation of $10,000 in student loan debt.
Loeffler and Perdue Support Repealing the ACA, Don’t Support Mask Mandates, and Hold Superspreader Events
Loeffler and Perdue may be celebrating the additional aid to hospitals and the rapid distribution of vaccines in the stimulus package, but this belies their positions on the health and welfare of their constituents.
Both Senators support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They’ve looked the other way when their state repeatedly refused to expand Medicaid, which led to the closure of multiple rural hospitals in Georgia in places where the pandemic hit the hardest.
COVID cases continue to climb in their backyards at astronomical rates, with some 3,600 new cases reported on Dec. 21. Loeffler and Perdue routinely refuse to wear masks and social distance in public, have held large indoor campaign events, and do not support mask mandates.