July 20, 2020

Whitehouse Calls for Swift Passage of New COVID-19 Relief Bill to Aid RI

State aid, education funding, small business support, reducing racial inequities, and hazard pay top priorities for next bill

Providence, RI – As the U.S. Senate reconvenes today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is renewing his call for another COVID-19 relief package to meet urgent needs in Rhode Island.  Whitehouse’s priorities include providing an influx of aid to states and municipalities, emergency education funding, additional support for small businesses, investments to reduce racial inequities, and hazard pay to frontline workers.

“Leader McConnell sat on the House relief bill for two months while the virus ravaged the country and millions of families struggled to pay their bills.  The big idea we’ve heard from Leader McConnell is to legalize negligence at keeping employees and customers safe during a pandemic—something I will fight at every turn,” said Whitehouse.  “Meanwhile, states and municipalities need cash to avoid laying off workers and deepening the economic crisis.  Schools and colleges need resources to plan for providing every student with a safe, high-quality education.  Small businesses need help still, and workers deserve premium pay for putting themselves in harm’s way.  Communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic in Rhode Island and across the country.  Rhode Islanders are counting on the Senate to deliver on the scale this moment requires, and the Senate needs to get its act together quickly.”

In May, the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which would direct $3 trillion to stem the pandemic and associated economic fallout.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has refused to take action on the House-passed legislation for two months, even while the virus once again began surging across the country and millions remained unemployed. 

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