July 30, 2020

Whitehouse: GOP Pandemic Aid Proposal Buoys Corporations at the Expense of Workers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today issued the following statement regarding the pandemic aid proposal Senate Republicans unveiled yesterday evening:

“Leader McConnell squandered two and a half months while families across the country grappled with twin health and economic crises. Now, with urgent deadlines approaching for millions of Americans pushed to the financial brink, Senate Republicans have hastily slapped together another corporate welfare proposal that falls far short of what Rhode Islanders need.

“The Republican proposal inexplicably fails to provide funding for state and local budgets, voting by mail, hazard pay, or emergency food benefits, and would leave hard-hit nursing homes to mostly fend for themselves. It would sharply cut benefits for the more than one hundred thousand Rhode Islanders unemployed and looking for work. The Republican proposal also fails to make the kind of flexible investments needed for kids to return to school safely.

“Senate Republicans’ top priority is letting corporations off the hook for negligence in protecting employees and customers during the pandemic. They’ve also managed to prioritize relaxing controls on big banks, providing bailouts for big agriculture, and frittering away funds on keeping FBI headquarters, and not a competing hotel, next to Trump’s D.C. hotel.

“The House-passed HEROES Act looks a whole lot more like what Rhode Islanders need right now, as we face a time crunch caused by Leader McConnell wasting all this time.”

Senate Republicans’ proposal comes more than two months after 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.

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