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Opinion: Millions of Americans teetering on the edge need Congress to act now

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Errol Louis writes that programs set up to help millions of Americans with things like rent, mortgages and student debt during the pandemic are set to expire at the end of the year, unless Congress quits dithering and approves a relief bill. Providing immediate relief is essential and not optional -- and it's not the job of the incoming Biden administration, which won't be sworn in until well into January.

But weeks before that, millions of Americans will face a humanitarian catastrophe that rivals any earthquake, hurricane, flood or forest fire -- unless Congress quits dithering and approves a relief bill.

Another 4. 1 million jobless Americans are getting Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which adds a 13-week extension to whatever state unemployment benefits they might be receiving.

But the moratorium, which doesn't address the back payment that renters will be responsible for, will be over at the end of December, at which point as many as 40 million families could face eviction proceedings.

It's Congress that has the power of the purse, and Congress alone that can appropriate the trillions of dollars needed to tide American families over when benefits expire on New Year's Day.

While Pelosi and Schumer have been criticized for not wanting to compromise on a relief bill leading up to the 2020 presidential election, there's an air of unreality about the indifference being displayed by Trump and McConnell as tens of millions of Americans teeter on the verge of bankruptcy, eviction or outright starvation.

Pelosi and Schumer have both claimed that the GOP has been pushing a bill that doesn't adequately address the needs of millions of Americans.

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