For those who are avid readers, how long does it take to read a book with 400 pages? I mean a book that is a page turner and full of excitement. We have all read a book that kept us up past our normal bedtime because we didn’t want to put it down. Now imagine how long it would take to read a book that is 5,500 pages long. Can you have it done in two hours?

Wait a minute. You don’t think it is possible to read a 5,500 page book in two hours? That’s interesting because all those in Congress were able to read the whole 5,500 page pork-filled COVID relief bill in merely two hours.

There is no doubt it was read by those voting on it. Seriously, who would vote for something without having read what is in the legislation? I don’t want someone representing me who doesn’t take the time to fully read and understand what a “yea” or “nay” vote means.

In a bit of shocking news, I found an area of agreement with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who on Dec. 21 wrote on Twitter “This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it. Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours … .”

This has royally enraged citizens around the country. While the legislation was technically more than the Coronavirus Relief Bill, once tacked together it appears to be one piece of legislation. This is why many people see it as the same thing.

When the legislation includes billions of dollars headed to other countries and a $600 direct payment to some of our citizens you can imagine why there are raised eyebrows. The truth is there are more than raised eyebrows. There is absolute anger. This could have been avoided in a couple different ways.

They could have spent more than two hours after the bill was brought to the floor. They could have allowed our representatives to come back and explain the bill. Explain that the bill includes things in addition to COVID relief. Explain that the money going overseas is a different portion of the bill. But that was not done. This has caused so much anger because the citizens don’t understand what happened.

Another, and much better option, would have been to leave the COVID relief bill on its own. It would have been very clear what was COVID relief and what wasn’t. But instead of doing it the right way, our representatives tacked together two different things and passed it.

I want to speak to just the COVID relief portion of the bill. It is $900 billion of the $2,400 billion in funding that was approved. Much of the bill will extend certain provisions of the original CARES Act, which was passed earlier this year as the original COVID relief.

But unlike the original CARES Act, the new bill is sending $600 to people rather than $1,200 like before. Our representatives have failed to recognize these payments are going to people due to the hardship surrounding the pandemic. Why? The payments are based solely from 2019 tax returns. Therefore, if someone was doing OK in 2019, but has become unemployed in 2020 there is no COVID relief coming. Yet, due to being jobless there is a need.

Many people are upset about the passage of this perceived pork-filled COVID relief package. Way too much time was spent on playing politics and when it was all done we, the people, feel like we got a raw deal.

Scotty Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community throughvarious community-oriented service jobs.

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