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Letters to the Editor: Joe Manchin’s insulting idea that $400 is enough to keep us unemployed

Sen. Joe Manchin walks on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol building on Friday.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I struggled to understand Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) rationale for opposing $400 in weekly jobless aid in the COVID-19 relief package. (“After a surprise snag, Democrats agree to move ahead on COVID-19 relief bill,” March 5)

Manchin was quoted as explaining that $400 would discourage unemployed workers from seeking jobs. But apparently, $300 was OK.

That is an argument straight from the stale old playbook of the Republican Party.

News flash, Senator: The reason for the unemployment disaster is that the jobs aren’t there. More than 10 million jobs have been lost in the pandemic, and many of them aren’t coming back. Have you asked any unemployed worker if they prefer a job or a jobless check?

No, a more likely reason for his opposition is that the senator finds himself in an unusual position of power. With friends like these, who needs Republicans?

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Phillip Gold, Westlake Village

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To the editor: We can all agree that we want a working democracy for everyone. So it angered me to see the GOP do everything it could to slow down and try to thwart the COVID-19 relief bill.

According to polls, about three-fourths of Americans support the measures for rent and mortgage relief, small business relief, unemployment insurance, stimulus checks, vaccines and testing. Food banks are stretched thin. Kids are not in schools. People are still dying.

The GOP tax bill in 2017 had an estimated cost of $1.9 trillion, which benefited corporations and the wealthy. It passed the Senate 51-48 and went through budget reconciliation.

The COVID-19 relief bill will benefit the rest of us, and it needed to pass without delay.

Susan Perlson, Brea

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To the editor: Your article refers to Manchin as a centrist.

By doing so, the article maligns the Democratic Party by implying that the desire to reduce benefits in the COVID-19 relief bill represents a centrist position. Manchin is actually to the right of the party’s center.

Alvin Cooperband, Santa Monica


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