Okay, first things first: It’s looking good for you to get a $2,000 stimulus check sometime soon. How soon? Nobody knows, but maybe before the end of this month. (Still not soon enough.)
That’s just one of the top priorities cited by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, who declared himself the new Senate Majority Leader before Ossoff was even a projected winner in Georgia. So who is this joker? And are we glad that he’s in charge now, or is he just the worst? Well, as is always the case with Democrats, a little of both.
Like most members of Congress, he is the oldest person in the world. Now in his 70s, Schumer was first voted into office 47 years ago, and he’s never lost an election since. He’s generally used his position for good, like being a constant source of annoyance for the Bush administration; but he’s also extremely cozy with tech oligarchs. That’s great news if you work in PR at Amazon (hi Jay, hope you’re having a nice afternoon) but a little alarming to anyone concerned about a future in which a handful of omnipotent corporations control every aspect of our lives. Hahaha, just kidding, that’s not the future, that’s just life right now.
Anyway, Chuck. What else do you need to know about him? Well, his favorite song is It’s Raining Men.
Perhaps more relevant are his financial sponsors. Apparently, no person can attain elected office without large corporations paying for the campaign, and Chuck’s career, even from his first race, has largely been funded by the financial sector, an industry to which he has been kind. In the last five years, the securities & investments industry has contributed around $2 million to Schumer’s campaigns, mostly in the form of payments from individuals; then there’s $1.7 million from lawyers; $1.6 million from real estate workers; and just under a million apiece from donors in the insurance industry and from lobbyists. Nice work if you can get it.
Schumer’s specific owners include Goldman Sachs ($609,015), Citigroup ($531,376), the mega-law-firm Paul, Weiss (a satisfyingly round $444,555), JPMorgan Chase ($327,312), Morgan Stanley ($327,193) …. and so on, you get the picture: companies that slobber all over money.
So, okay, that’s not ideal. (Last night I had a dream that Bernie Sanders was named Senate Majority Leader and I woke myself up laugh-crying that we don’t get to live in that timeline.)
But finances aside, Chuck’s where you want him to be on most social issues. He’s for reproductive rights, net neutrality, gun control, protecting immigrants, legalizing pot, and bike infrastructure … except when it inconveniences him, and then he’s all about ripping out bike lanes.
He is also a distant cousin of Amy Schumer, in case you give a shit about that kind of thing.
So with him in charge, what are the top priorities for Democrats to deliver (aside from that $2,000) check? So much: a huge relief package, with tens of millions for testing and contact tracing; a whopping $2 trillion green jobs plan; background checks for guns; and expanding access to voting, health care, and immigration services.
All very nice goals. And if he can’t get them done, AOC says she hasn’t ruled out running against him in 2022. That would be quite a challenge—Chuck’s never lost an election. But there’s a first time for everything.