Take action: GOP Blocks Coronavirus Emergency Bill

Advocate for emergency paid sick leave in a public health crisis.

March 13, 2020

While Americans are dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, Senate Republicans have made the situation worse by blocking a congressional effort to pass S. 3415, an emergency paid sick leave bill. Now more than ever, legislation like this is necessary. Because of the nature of the virus, employers are cutting hours, sending non-essential staff home, and even closing down. Without jobs, people and families are unable to afford basic necessities and healthcare. This move inflames the worst effects of the global pandemic. 

The emergency paid sick leave bill that the GOP is blocking would provide immediate relief. If passed, it would require mandatory 14 days paid sick leave in a public health emergency -- like the one we are currently in. This legislation would allow for a cushion for individuals and families that live paycheck-to-paycheck. The GOP's objection to the bill is that it overburdens employers, who would have to foot the bill for the federally-mandated paid sick leave. In the face of a global pandemic, that argument rings petty. 

The Trump Administration's track record on healthcare and disease prevention has been dismal. In 2018, the administration cut 80% of funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those resources would have been essential in handling this current crisis. They also blocked a legislative effort that would have allowed states to use Medicaid benefits to stem the coronavirus. 

At the same time, the Federal Reserve readily allotted $1.5 trillion in stimulus to the finance industry when stock dividends took a hit. Economic prosperity is important. The well-being of the American people is more important.

With lives are at stake, Congress must act now. By all indications, there will be a vote on emergency response legislation today, with the potential for future additional legislation remaining open. 



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