Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: ‘Principal concern’ of Biden appointments should be policy DeVos knocks free college push as ‘socialist takeover of higher education’ The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump MORE (I-Vt.) on Friday said that he cannot support a bipartisan $908 billion COVID-19 relief proposal unveiled this week by congressional moderates unless significant changes are made.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to significantly improve this bill,” Sanders, a prominent progressive lawmaker, said in a statement. “But, in its current form, I cannot support it.”
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSmall businesses don’t need another stimulus — they need customers Congress faces late-year logjam Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms MORE (D-W.Va.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him WaPo reporter says GOP has less incentive to go big on COVID-19 relief COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks MORE (R-Utah), on Tuesday released a coronavirus relief proposal in an effort to get congressional leaders in both parties to negotiate a deal on legislation.
House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) subsequently said they supported using the $908 billion proposal as the basis for negotiations.
The proposal includes funds for state and local governments, unemployment insurance, small-business support programs, and vaccine development and distribution, among other things.
Sanders expressed concerns about a portion of the proposal that would provide liability protection for businesses. The proposal calls for short-term federal liability protection in order for states to have time to prepare their own responses.
“The Manchin-Romney proposal will, through this liability provision, encourage corporations to avoid implementing the common sense safety standards needed to protect workers and consumers — and make a bad situation worse,” Sanders said.
Sanders also criticized the proposal for not including any direct payments to Americans.
Congress passed legislation in March that provided for a single round of payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, and progressives are pushing for additional payments to be part of the the next relief package.
“At a time when the COVID crisis is the worst that it has ever been in the U.S. with record-breaking levels of hospitalization and death, the Manchin-Romney proposal not only provides no direct payments to working families, it does nothing to address the health care crisis and has totally inadequate financial assistance for the most vulnerable,” Sanders said. “That is wrong morally and it is wrong economically if we hope to rebuild the economy.”
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