Dear Colleague on Senate GOP COVID-19 Proposal and Ongoing Discussions with the Trump Administration
Dear Democratic Colleague,
Millions of America’s children are food insecure. Many of their families are on the verge of eviction. Tens of millions of Americans have applied for unemployment insurance. Over four million Americans have been infected by the virus.
Ten weeks ago, Democrats passed The Heroes Act, which honors our heroes by supporting state and local government, opens our economy and schools with testing, tracing and treatment, and puts money in Americans’ pockets. But instead of negotiating with us, Senate Republicans and Leader McConnell said they needed a ‘pause’.
Very sadly, after months of deadly delay, the Republicans have unveiled a proposal that would only prolong the suffering for millions of workers and families across America. Among other damaging provisions, their proposal:
- Destroys families’ financial security: cuts $400 a week in Unemployment Insurance from families struggling to make ends meet after losing their jobs through no fault of their own, while refusing to provide rental or mortgage assistance to families on the brink of eviction and homelessness;
- Abandons our heroes: provides no state and local funding to pay our health workers, first responders, teachers, food, transit and sanitation workers and other frontline heroes risking their lives to save lives and now may lose their jobs;
- Rejects science: refuses to have a strategic and well-funded, science-based testing plan and abandons communities of color, who are being disproportionately devastated by COVID-19;
- Endangers our children: bullying vulnerable schools to reopen too soon, while failing to provide adequate resources to reopen safely and refusing to expand broadband to help kids who need it at home for distance learning;
- Enriches corporations at the expense of working families: hands liability immunity to employers who do not protect workers’ health and safety, while offering no OSHA protections to ensure workers can trust safe workplaces. Gives wealthy corporations a business meal tax deduction, while refusing to expand SNAP for families.
Today, Leader Schumer and I met once more with representatives from the White House. The attitude from Republicans has been one of condescension and disrespect for America’s working families.
We are always optimistic that we can find common ground. However, today, Leader McConnell presented a liability-on-steroids proposal without which, he said, he would not bring a COVID bill to the floor. Leader Schumer and I will meet with the Administration again tomorrow. More to updates to follow.
Thank you for your leadership.