‘Utter Disgrace’: GOP Proposes Legal Immunity for Corporations, $0 in Funding for States, and Deep Cuts to Unemployment Benefits
July 28, 2020 at 7:30 PM - Views: 71 #341375ravensongParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,142
With joblessness at historic levels, millions of Americans struggling to afford food, states and localities barreling toward fiscal disaster, and the U.S. Postal Service on the verge of collapse, Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled a Covid-19 stimulus proposal that would slash unemployment benefits, do nothing to expand federal nutrition aid, provide $0 in new funding for states, and leave the USPS without any additional emergency relief.
While giving short shrift to workers, the Republican package would ensure that corporations are not held accountable for putting their employees in danger by providing a sweeping five-year liability shield geared toward protecting businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits—a top priority of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The GOP plan also includes billions of dollars in funds that are completely unrelated to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, such as $686 million for F-35 fighter jets and $1.75 billion for construction of a new FBI headquarters. McConnell apparently had no idea funding for the FBI building was included in the final legislation, which was crafted in his office.
“Um, I’m not sure that it is. Is it?” McConnell said during a press conference when asked why the FBI funds are in the bill.
Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, said late Monday that “McConnell’s proposal—negotiated without any input from Democrats in the U.S. House or Senate—is dead on arrival.”
“Senate Republicans have wasted months coming up with a proposal that, remarkably, would make the pandemic and economic pain even worse—especially a corporate immunity provision that would be a literal death sentence to countless Americans,” Gilbert added. “It’s long past time for the real negotiations to begin.”
On Twitter, Public Citizen denounced the the GOP plan as “an utter disgrace,” noting that it wouldn’t extend a federal eviction moratorium that expired last Friday or provide a penny in election assistance funding for states.
Titled the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability, and Schools (HEALS) Act, the $1 trillion opening bid from Republicans was released in bits and pieces Monday as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to surge across the U.S. and the economy remains in deep recession, with the official unemployment rate hovering above 11%.
The Republican plan would temporarily reduce the weekly unemployment insurance boost from $600 to $200 until states can implement a complicated—some say unworkable—new system that would pay laid-off workers 70% of what they earned prior to losing their jobs. Additionally, the GOP proposal would provide another round of $1,200 direct stimulus payments to most Americans, funding for U.S. schools that meet “minimum opening requirements,” and $16 billion for coronavirus testing.
Tucked inside the Republican stimulus package is also a bill led by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) that could result in deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
In a joint statement late Monday, the American Federation of Teachers, Care in Action, Community Change Action, Greenpeace, and MoveOn warned that if passed, the Republican proposal “would devastate America.”
“Americans should be outraged at Senate Republicans and the Trump administration for wasting months and, at the 11th hour, offering a proposal so weak that it would only guarantee our country’s backslide into the Covid-19 crisis,” the groups said. “The plan put forth by Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans is a non-starter that will do nothing for workers and families, and keep the United States on this devastating path.”
Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy Action, slammed the Senate GOP for “coming to the table with a package that prioritizes protecting corporations from lawsuits.”
“Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer, and all Congressional Democrats, must reject this plan outright and fight for a package that meets the scale of the crisis,” said Archila, who urged Democrats to fight to extend the $600-per-week unemployment insurance boost, pass a paycheck guarantee, provide adequate hazard pay and PPE for frontline workers, and ensure that Covid-19 testing and treatment is free for everyone in the U.S.
Anything less,” warned Archila, “will only prolong the health and economic crisis, and exacerbate suffering in every corner of this country.”
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National Committee issued the following statement today in response to the latest reporting from Capitol Hill about GOP plans for the next Coronavirus relief bill.
“Republicans have jettisoned the President’s reckless payroll tax cut from their Coronavirus relief plan – at least for now. But seniors and their advocates must stay vigilant as the Trump administration remains laser-focused on payroll tax cuts, which pose a direct threat to Social Security. While Republicans did the right thing by setting aside Trump’s payroll tax cuts, they reportedly are considering injecting an equally menacing element into their relief bill.
The TRUST Act would set up special committees to decide the fate of federal trust funds, including Social Security and Medicare. This would allow benefit cuts to be fast-tracked through Congress. Seniors and people with disabilities need their benefits boosted, not slashed. Like payroll tax cuts, the TRUST Act is bad medicine for everyday Americans struggling to stay financially afloat, especially during the COVID crisis.
Once again: “Trump and the Swamp Turtle are once again threatening to steal our Social Safety Nets, shamelessly holding them hostage in order steal from the poor and give to the super rich. They will use the new stimulus bill as a weapon, a gun to the heads of all those who oppose giving most of the funds allocated by the bill to giant transnational corporations and the wealthy individuals who own them.
If the show Supernatural was reality, Sam and Dean’s first priority would be sending the enemies of human kind and planet Earth, Trump and McConnell, back to hell as quickly as possible.”
“A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington
The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
July 28, 2020 at 7:35 PM #341377N2DocParticipant
- Total Posts: 7,568
Now we see what gets put in the final version. Vichies, we are watching.
July 28, 2020 at 7:55 PM #341383Ohio BarbarianModerator
- Total Posts: 14,744
The Turtle, the Corporatist Munchkin, and Pelosi will meet together, just the three of them and maybe an aide or six, and work out a compromise which will not have what people really need–UBI and national health insurance at the minimum–and the Democratic leadership will present it as something which must be done now, best we can do, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, etc to the House.
The House will pass it nearly unanimously with one or two symbolic dissenters designed to be enough to keep progressives hoping the Dems will actually do something, it will sail through the Senate, Trump will sign it,
and Ragnarok will get one step closer. Joy.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman
July 28, 2020 at 10:43 PM #341419FasttenseParticipant
- Total Posts: 867
A bunch of traitorous heels will pass it, it’s designed to give the filthy rich enough money to buy their sex workers new heels, it ensures the boot heel of authoritarian rule remains on the neck of workers.
It’s a plan only Trump suck ups and out of touch, corporate elite, aristocracy would approve of.
July 29, 2020 at 2:26 AM #341483Red CloudParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,423
A free translation:
slash unemployment benefits, do nothing to expand federal nutrition aid, provide $0 in new funding for states, and leave the USPS without any additional emergency relief= fuck the poor, fuck the poor, fuck the states, fuck voting by mail.
So Dummycrats are they still your “friends”?
July 29, 2020 at 2:34 AM #341491
July 29, 2020 at 3:13 AM #341508EnthusiastParticipant
- Total Posts: 4,373
This country is making me sick.
I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".
July 29, 2020 at 3:26 AM #341512GryneosParticipant
- Total Posts: 955
will be that Dems will respond with: “Okay.” Caving and capitulating like always.
I’ll expect more from the dems when they become anti-corporate. Until then, I expect them to cozy up to power as much as the other “side.”
Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?
July 30, 2020 at 3:58 AM #341873peacecorpsParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,057
They are called 'human' rights not "if politicians do not feel threatened" rights. Many politicians see national sovereignty/security as more important because they protect their power and wealth. Human rights often do just the opposite.
National issues (slavery/racism, income inequality, pandemics and pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war, pandemics) are not resolved with more national sovereignty.
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