Reason Roundup

Democrats Propose $2.2 Trillion More for Coronavirus Relief and Other Pet Projects

Plus: Court says Subway sandwich bread isn't bread, Tennessee "abortion reversal" law blocked, and more...

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After the Democrat-backed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act went nowhere in May, liberal leaders in Congress are now trying to revive it. The revised version would still double down on stimulus measures contained in Congress' first COVID-19 relief bill (the CARES Act) by sending another round of direct checks to Americans and providing a federal boost to unemployment benefits.

Under the revised HEROES Act, adults under a certain income threshold would each get a $1,200 check, plus an additional $500 for each dependent. The measure would also re-institute the extra $600 per week for people on unemployment, which some economists say has slowed the economic recovery by making it more profitable for people to stay at home than go back to work. The extended benefits in the bill would last through January 2021.

All in all, the new HEROES Act would cost $2.2 trillion.

Lest anyone think legislators learned from complaints about all the crony corporate goodies packed into the CARES Act, the new HEROES Act promises additional funds for the air travel industry and other specific industries.

The bill also sneaks in new national workplace regulations by "requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise."

And it adds funds for Democratic desires that have nothing to do with the pandemic, including "new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service."

"The odds of passing the bill are long," notes CBS News. "A push to send the bill to a vote this week would have little chance of success […] But continued negotiations between Democrats and [Treasury Secretary Steve] Mnuchin could signal the bill is gaining traction."


FREE MINDS

The pundit's fallacy:


FREE MARKETS

An Irish court says Subway cannot call the loaves of dough that it serves sandwiches on "bread." Subway bread loaves contain too much sugar to be defined as bread under Ireland's Value Added Tax Act of 1972, which defines "staple foods."

"The bread's sugar content—five times the qualifying limit under the act—means that it falls outside of the legal definition of a staple food," reports The Guardian. "The ruling included white and wholegrain bread. The definition serves to differentiate bread from other baked goods."


ELECTION 2020

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen talked to Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) and Free the People's Matt Kibbe last night. Reason's Eric Boehm has some dispatches; start here:


QUICK HITS

• Good news? We averted a government shutdown again, through December 11.

• Mississippi is lifting its state-wide mask mandate, making it the first state with a mask mandate to do so.

• A federal judge has rejected Tennessee's "abortion reversal" law.

• Here's where marijuana is on the ballot next month.

• More truth trouble at The New York Times.

• "It sure looks like" Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron "lied about Breonna Taylor's killing," points out Zak Cheney-Rice at New York.

• A Louisville police officer who was shot during protests last week is now back to work.

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