Washington, D.C. – Today, following the unveiling of the Senate Republicans’ latest COVID-19 relief package, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement:
“Today marks exactly four months since we passed the CARES Act, the last major bipartisan legislation to address the pandemic and economic crisis. Instead of using this time to engage in bipartisan negotiations over the next package, Republicans in Congress have frittered it away with a ‘wait-and-see’ approach as the pandemic continued to rage across much of the country.
“After four months of inaction, the White House and Republicans in Congress finally released a partisan proposal written behind closed doors without any input from Democrats. It is woefully inadequate. First, it slashes benefits for more than 30 million unemployed Americans by $1,600 per month in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, when many families still do not have access to childcare or safe jobs to which they can return, through no fault of their own. To cut benefits in this moment would inflict profound damage on these workers, families, and our broader economy.
“Second, it does nothing to help maintain essential state and local services, a goal with support from both parties. Third, it fails to make the significant public health investments required to proactively manage the virus, as my Health Force proposal would do. Finally, it doesn’t do enough to sustain our hardest-hit small businesses that need more flexibility and sustained support, which is what we've proposed in the bipartisan RESTART Act.
“We must reject this partisan approach and immediately negotiate a bipartisan bill that matches the scale of the public health and economic crisis we face.”