Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Executive Vice President, Public Citizen
Note: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced today that he will introduce a slimmed down coronavirus-stimulus package this week. The bill is not expected to include funding for state and local governments or stimulus checks for struggling Americans. The total cost of the new proposal is almost half of the original proposal that Senate Republicans backed in August.
McConnell knows his skinny bill is dead on arrival, and the American people deserve better. This bill is not a serious proposal, and remarkably, offers even less aid than the proposal he backed in August. It provides nowhere near the economic relief struggling families need and still lets corporations off the hook for endangering workers and consumers – a dealbreaker for any bipartisan bill.
Senate Republicans’ priorities are completely upside down. They’re against providing state and local governments with critical aid to fund public services and schools but in favor of granting businesses immunity from lawsuits related to the coronavirus. The pandemic is already widening social and economic divisions. Shielding corporations from accountability will endanger workers, consumers, and patients, and make the pandemic even worse.
McConnell’s political gamesmanship is a roadblock to the substantive relief Americans need during the ongoing pandemic. Hopefully, this proposal will be followed by negotiations on a serious bill to provide meaningful funding to secure our elections, fund the U.S. Postal Service, ensure all people have access to vaccines and fund our first responders and schools.