CHN’S COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship July 2
Independence Day Recess/New State Fiscal Year Edition. The U.S. Senate will be finishing up today without having taken up a new COVID-19 relief bill. It will be out until July 20. In the meantime, most states are starting up a new fiscal year as of July 1, with plummeting revenues and no assurance that the federal government will provide aid to prevent service cuts and state and local government worker layoffs. From February through June, there have already been 1.5 million state and local worker layoffs, out of 15 million public sector workers. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reminded the Senate this week that the economic downturn would be prolonged, and that the “path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.” The data below underscore that need: surging cases are likely to stall the jobs growth we saw in June, and even with that growth, massive numbers of households have lost income, do not have enough to eat, and are at dire risk of eviction. Independence Day will ring hollow for them as the Senate takes off till July 20.
The Senate must join the House in enacting COVID recovery legislation similar to the House’s HEROES Act.