SENATE Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (NY) is urging his colleagues to band together to reject a coronavirus relief bill currently being worked on by Republicans.
In a statement released Monday, Schumer slammed the bill proposal – which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) is working on with the Trump administration – as a "one-party approach" to dealing with the pandemic.
"This one-party approach to this legislation is the same approach that delayed the passage of the CARES Act and the subsequent interim emergency relief legislation, failed on policing reform, and it won't work this time around," Schumer wrote.
He was referring to a delay in the $2.2trillion CARES Act, the first coronavirus relief package lawmakers in the US passed in March.
Schumer took several issues with the bill Republicans are reportedly working on, mainly that the legislature prioritizes corporate interests rather than the needs of the American public.
"Senator McConnell is writing a COVID bill that will prioritize corporate special interests over workers and main street businesses, and will fail to adequately address the worsening spread of COVID," Schumer wrote.
"Workers and families and people—not special interests—must be our main focus."
In particular, Schumer took issue with a litigation shield McConnell reportedly wants to include in the package, which would limit the liability of businesses, schools and churches related to the spread of COVID-19.
Schumer warned that the provision would "preempt the laws of all 50 states and grant legal immunity to negligent corporations, nursing homes and others that fail to take reasonable steps to avoid spreading the virus."
He also slammed the proposal for failing to extend unemployment benefits, failing to include funding for rental assistance and failing to outline an "adequate national testing strategy" for the virus, among many other criticisms.
"Democrats will need to fight hard for these important provisions," he wrote.
Schumer ended his statement by urging his colleagues to remain unified against a bill that fails to include many crucial Democratic priorities.
The House passed the $3trillion HEROES Act in May, which “included everything from more stimulus checks to an extension for the expanded unemployment program to more aid for states.”
But the bill has been held up over the last few months as McConnell and the Trump administration work on changes.
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