Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and Reps. Cindy Axne, Abby Finkenauer, Steve King and Dave Loebsack:
My name is Daniel Finney. I’m a resident of Des Moines and a voter.
I write to you not as a member of a political party. I am independent, but I have been registered as both a Democrat and a Republican in my voting life.
I write to you as fellow human. I appeal to your personal senses of humanity, of right and wrong in this desperate hour of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m asking you to do your very best to be leaders of compromise and accomplishment in the debate of the second economic stimulus bill.
I know there are differences along party lines about how best to help the American people during this international crisis.
I plead with each of you to rise above party and achieve the compromise that best benefits your constituents.
I am not writing to advocate either the House or the Senate proposal. I will not pretend to know them so intimately as to know which makes the best public policy or the long-term effects on the economy.
Here is what I do know: I am unemployed. I worked as a newspaper reporter for 23 years, 27 years if you count internships and freelance work I did in high school and college.
I lost my job May 1. I look for work every weekday. I apply for work at two or three companies a day. I use my spare time to teach myself new trade skills, such as creating and editing podcasts and creating and managing websites.
I am not, as your colleague Sen. Ted Cruz seems to imply in his comments, staying home to collect unemployment because it pays more than my old job.
Almost all of the jobs I have applied for offer salaries well below what I made as a newsman.
I believe, as I think the all of you do, that work provides a person with purpose. I want to work. But I have not found a job yet.
The expanded unemployment benefits created a safety net that made my monthly rent payments, insurance payments and other bills secure while I pursed jobs.
Now that Congress has failed to act, those things will soon be in jeopardy.
I am not one to look to the government to solve my problems. I don’t expect the government to find me a job.
I do, however, expect my government — in particular my representatives in Washington, D.C. — to step up in moments of crisis.
We know the pandemic is a crisis. We see the economic fallout. We see the deaths. We see the suffering.
If you can help people, you ought to at least try. As United States senators and representatives, you have more power than most to help people.
I recognize political partisanship has become the corporal incarnation of the irresistible force and the immovable object parable.
But to suggest a stimulus bill cannot be achieved because of this endless tribal battle is foolish and childish.
It feels like in today’s political climate that compromise is a synonym for capitulation. It is not. It is the cornerstone of how our government functions.
Remember the great compromisers and deal brokers in our history such as former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas and the late President Lyndon B. Johnson during his time in the Senate.
I am an Iowan. I need you, every one of you, to rise to the occasion. I need you to look past the party. Your highest duty is the service to your constituents and country.
The American people are struggling. I am struggling.
We need your help. I need your help.
Help us. Make this your finest hour.
Daniel P. Finney, Iowan
Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.
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