STATEMENT: CAP’s Neera Tanden: McConnell’s Bill Put Corporations Ahead of Workers; Now Is the Time To Pass a People-Centered Rescue Package

Washington, D.C. — Earlier today, the U.S. Senate rejected the revised “phase 3” stimulus bill proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Following the 47-47 procedural vote, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

Shame on any senator who voted for Leader McConnell’s ploy to put the wish lists of big corporations ahead of the needs of workers and families at this time of national crisis. Leader McConnell’s proposal was essentially a no-strings-attached bailout for wealthy corporations—with no oversight, no transparency, no protections against cronyism, no requirements for returns to taxpayers, and no protections for the jobs, wages, or bargaining rights of the workers whose livelihoods are at risk.

Leader McConnell’s bill ignored the urgent needs of hospitals and did nothing to extend no-cost COVID-19 testing. It also failed to provide sufficient financial resources for the millions of workers who have seen their incomes decimated in the past several weeks, and who will undoubtedly be hit hard in the weeks and months ahead.

Our nation is at a turning point. We are facing what is perhaps the largest simultaneous public health and economic crisis in our history. The country needs legislation that prioritizes the health and well-being of its people, not bailouts for corporations. We need to act with speed, but we need the bill that passes quickly to be one that actually provides real economic relief to the people and small businesses who are suffering. Rather than cynically using the urgency of the moment to jam through bailouts, Leader McConnell should come together with Democrats to pass a bill that truly provides relief to those who need it. That bill should provide funds for state governments, whose health care systems are at a breaking point and who are also facing new challenges to educating their children, holding elections, and supporting the criminal justice system. It should offer health care workers and hospitals the resources they need to save lives as well as guarantee paid leave and no-cost testing to all who need them—regardless of immigration status. The bill should also provide nutrition and housing assistance to those in need while ensuring that families have confidence that direct cash relief and unemployment assistance will be there for the duration of this crisis. The time to act is now—but that action must be on a bill that is focused on people, not large corporations.

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