New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is slamming Senate Republicans’ latest COVID-19 relief bill ahead of a vote on the proposed legislation.
Senators are expected to vote Thursday on what’s been dubbed the “skinny” coronavirus relief bill. The $300 billion package includes an extension of the Small Business Loan Program and jobless benefits from the CARES Act.
Unemployment, however, would be reduced from $600 a week to $300. Additionally, the bill wouldn’t include stimulus checks or aid to State and local governments.
Gillibrand said the legislation doesn’t even come close to meeting the needs of individual Americans and entire industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“The fact that this bill prioritizes blanket liability for corporations over the health and safety of working people who are keeping this country running is insulting,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “It also fails to extend or strengthen emergency paid leave provisions so that people can stay home when they’re sick or need to take care of a loved one.”
The bill would provide $15 billion for child care services. Gillibrand believes that’s inadequate, saying the child care industry needs at least $50 billion.
Gillibrand has also been vocal about the need to renew $600 per week unemployment benefits, expanded SNAP benefits for those experiencing food insecurity, federal relief for local governments, and increased funding for COVID-19 testing, telehealth, and community-based health services.
“Hardworking Americans have lost their jobs, they’re facing evictions and food insecurity, and they’re struggling to figure out how to obtain child care when they return to work,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “McConnell must stop dragging his feet while Americans are in dire need. It’s urgent that the Senate pass a comprehensive relief package that will address these unprecedented challenges and I will continue fighting to include these crucial proposals.”