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McConnell, Cornyn Received a Combined $1.2 Million From Business Groups Lobbying for Legal Immunity


Welcome to the latest edition of “Corporate Accountability, Not Immunity,” a daily tipsheet highlighting key news and important facts on why Congress should not give corporations legal immunity from coronavirus-related harms to workers, consumers, patients and the public. Also refer to our tipsheet on misleading claims from industry groups and conservative lawmakers. Please send tips, feedback and questions to David Rosen at drosen@citizen.org.

MCCONNELL, CORNYN RECEIVED MORE THAN $1.2 MILLION FROM BUSINESS GROUPS LOBBYING FOR IMMUNITY: Business groups pushing for corporate immunity have given more than $1.2 million to the two U.S. Senate Republicans leading the charge to include immunity in any pandemic response legislation. According to a review of Federal Election Commission data by The American Independent, since 2016, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who authored the proposal, has received more than $430,000 from the political action committees of trade associations pushing for immunity. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has received more than $825,000.

WHEN NOBODY IS ACCOUNTABLE, NOBODY IS SAFE: Corporate immunity “is premised on a false choice between the return to a healthy economy and allowing businesses to be held accountable if their carelessness causes people to get sick,” Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. PIRG wrote in Business Insider. “Companies’ purported concern about lawsuits leading to catastrophic bankruptcies is a smokescreen for an opportunistic attempt to use the anxiety that we all share today to push through a revolutionary law that will weaken protections for us all. The bottom line is that when nobody is accountable, nobody is safe.”

CORPORATE IMMUNITY SHIFTS COSTS OF LOST LIVES ONTO FAMILIES: Benjamin P. Edwards, law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, warned that the Senate corporate immunity bill “shifts the cost of lost lives away from businesses and on to the families of the dead. Worse, the legislation applies retroactively. Functionally, this rewards the businesses which profited from running irresponsible operations and the spreading disease.”