Congress is off the rest of the month, but we should still call them and tell them to pass H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, and reject the suite of Republican-proposed bills known as the HEALS Act. This remains very simple: the HEROES Act extends enhanced unemployment benefits, funds our Post Office, and funds states and localities -- while the HEALS Act gives corporations undeserved immunity from lawsuits filed by the people they hurt and business honchos get to deduct 100% of their meals instead of 50%. Republicans must be very confident they're going to win elections this year for them to go all-in on something as moronic as the HEALS Act. Of course, our "liberal" media is helping them out, by casting Congress's failure to pass another COVID-19 relief bill as either a bipartisan or a Democratic failure. Stone cold truth is that it's a Republican failure -- the Democrats, for once, passed the HEROES Act almost three months ago, and that bill would do what the people want it and need it to do, but Senate Republicans did nothing. And we don't just "get along" with people who do nothing.
And while you have your Congressfolk on the phone, tell them to fight to the death our President's recent Executive Order deferring payroll tax contributions until after the election, because those contributions fund Social Security. Our President has said, out loud, that he'd prefer to "terminate" these contributions and fund Social Security and Medicare from general budgeting, which of course will lead eventually to at least one body of Congress throwing up its hands and saying we just can't afford it anymore! But we should not tolerate the government of the greatest nation on Earth saying we can't "afford" a dignified retirement for all our citizens. No equivocation is possible here -- a large number of politicians and not just Republicans are thrilled that our President is willing to take the PR hit for achieving one of Our Glorious Elites' long-standing goals, the destruction of Social Security. They will not stand up for Social Security unless we stand up for Social Security -- and we must stand up in such numbers that our will cannot be mistaken.
Meanwhile, previous COVID-19 legislation ensured that COVID-19 tests would be free to anyone who needed one -- or so we thought! As we speak, good Americans still get slammed with surprise medical bills ranging from $150 on the low end to $3,000 on the high end. Turns out those bills didn't address the matter of health care facilities partnering with "out of network" facilities to get the tests done, but hey, last I looked, "free" meant "free," not "free unless your local ER is out-of-network," or "free unless this particular ER doctor is out-of-network even though all the others are in-network," or "free unless we're dumb enough to use an out-of-network lab," or "free unless we gouge you by using an out-of-network lab." What do I always say? Incompetence is malice! The stupid-or-evil debate doesn't matter if the end result is evil! Hence Consumer Reports helps you tell your Congressfolk to end surprise medical billing during this pandemic. Surprise medical bills always make the news, so you'd think ending them would be a bipartisan cause. Alas, only if we make it so.
Finally, Sum of Us helps you tell TD Bank to divest from notorious private prison corporation GEO Group. TD invested heavily in GEO during the pandemic's early days, and I wouldn't blame you for thinking that's a bit of a head-scratcher there. Did TD Bank think our President's anti-immigrant cruelty was the wave of the future and it was time to get on board? Did they think there was going to be a motherlode in imprisoning folks during a pandemic? Did they fantasize that private prisons would control the pandemic better than everyone else, instead of the obvious truth that they'd do worse than everyone else, since private prisons operate facilities where you can't even pee in private? We may never know! What we do know is that private prisons, despite their relative favor with this President, put immigrant detainees in concentration camps and even if they didn't, they'd still generally do a crap job of spending taxpayer money. What we also know is that the Big Stick of Bad PR works on big corporations. If we wield it, that is.