Joe Biden finally signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package this afternoon after months of debate and haggling in Congress. The White House made a big deal of the signing, announcing as a surprise that Biden would sign the bill today as opposed to tomorrow for some reason.
Why was Biden set to sign the bill tomorrow in the first place? Who knows. I don’t care to find out. I suspect that the Biden camp always meant to sign the bill today if it made it to his desk and initially said tomorrow so they could announce this change and get praised for it. Great job guys you did it. Congratulations to the Biden administration for being the first executive branch in history to sign a bill swiftly when the entire country has been locked in an as-yet-unending cycle of pain for a year. Now give me my money.
The White House says people might start seeing direct deposits in their accounts this weekend. Great. You are still months late and $600 short, after lying to us and fucking around and stalling and fucking up constantly.
The rest of us will be getting physical checks (without Biden’s name on them) mailed to whatever address we filed our 2019 tax returns from, because the IRS will not let you update your address online in the interim no matter how many times you try, making it so that you have to bike up to your old roommate’s place in Greenpoint in the pandemic because you have moved twice during that time and mail forwarding has been unreliable since Louis DeJoy trashed the Post Office. I’m not bitter at all about any of this, as I’m sure you can tell.
This bill will help people. The provisions in it are better than anything that was passed while Trump was in office and the GOP was in charge of the Senate. They’re still far worse than they could have been, of course, because the Democratic Party has shrewdly maneuvered itself into a political situation where it has both clear control of both the legislature and executive branch and the least possible power to actually use that to further their agenda.
But! More people will be able to pay their rent for April, or clear out some credit card debt, or if they’re lucky just buy a nice treat for themselves or save for a vacation once they’re all vaccinated and we can go places again. COBRA payments are 100% covered! That’s incredible. All of it is going to be really nice. It’s going to be really nice except that it will probably be the last we see from the government. It’s going to be really nice until the eviction moratoriums expire and the government realizes that $1,400 per person doesn’t quite cover $70 billion plus in cumulative back rent people owe.
This is still good news. We should enjoy this. But as Biden and Congressional leaders take their victory lap at a celebratory event tomorrow, we should also remember that they still owe us so, so much more.