WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) blasted the newly-released GOP coronavirus proposal, which is completely inadequate when it comes to addressing the ongoing health crisis and economic crisis. Brown will continue fighting for Ohio workers, families and communities in any future stimulus package and will push for provisions that puts Ohio, not Wall Street, first.
“After spending months dragging their feet and saying they felt ‘no urgency’ to act, Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans and President Trump have released a proposal that hurts working people and fails to provide struggling families with the assistance they need during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. This proposal is not a serious one,” said Brown. “As negotiations between Democrats and Republicans begin, I will continue fighting for Ohio priorities and will work against any deal that puts corporations over workers.”
The Senate GOP bill:
1. Cuts the weekly Unemployment Insurance benefit by $400 per week, from $600 to $200. This amounts to a 30 percent pay cut for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
2. Provides no funding for Ohio’s state and local governments, which face severe budget shortfalls and desperately need federal help in replacing lost revenue if they are to avoid layoffs of teachers, firefighters, public safety officers, sanitation workers and more.
3. Includes no assistance to renters or homeowners to help keep families in their homes, and does not extend the federal rental eviction moratorium.
4. Fails to protect Americans from abusive debt collectors, utility shut offs or an unfair hit to their credit score that will set them back for years.
5. Does not include a serious investment in state Medicaid programs, COVID-19 testing or our front line health care providers, further straining our hospitals and nursing homes in particular, where we’re seeing significant infections and deaths.
6. Gives corporations legal immunity, so they cannot be held accountable if they fail to protect workers.
7. Fails to provide frontline workers with pandemic premium pay, or hazard pay, for putting their lives on the line, and the lives of their family members, every day.
8. This a significant portion of K-12 money to schools reopening, pushes private school vouchers and includes zero money for broadband internet in rural and underserved communities.
9. Provides no money for SNAP to ensure Ohio kids don’t go hungry.
10. Fails to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit to assist families that are struggling during this time. EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people and pull children out of poverty.
11. Does not include a solution to remove liability from troubled multiemployer pension plans. Such a fix would allow them to stay solvent and protect retirees’ benefits without cuts.
12. Includes no money for the postal service or for election security.
13. Fails to extend the suspension of payment, interest and involuntary collection for federal student loan borrowers or provide any student loan debt cancellation.
14. Does not provide adequate child welfare funding for vulnerable families or kinship caregivers. In addition, it doesn’t provide robust funding to meet the needs of older youth or include protections to prevent them from aging out of foster care.
Brown has been pushing Mitch McConnell to bring the House-passed Heroes Act to the floor for debate and passage for months. Brown vowed today to work during negotiations to secure a better deal for Ohio workers and families struggling to make ends meet during this global health crisis.