After Rushing to Bailout Corporations, Trump’s Senate Allies Had to Be Pulled Kicking and Screaming to Agree to Basic Relief for Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly a week after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to jam through a coronavirus response package that prioritized corporate bailouts over struggling workers with no input from Democrats, a compromise deal has been reached. Government watchdog group Accountable.US chided President Trump’s Senate allies for dragging their feet for days before agreeing to include even the most basic emergency measures for workers already in financial freefall, like enhanced jobless benefits, SBA loan forgiveness eligibility for looming rent, mortgage and utility bills, or requirements that workers come first as part of any industry bailout.

“Thanks to Senate progressives, this legislation does much more for everyday workers than it would have if Trump and his Senate allies had gotten their way. While it does more than enough for multi-billion-dollar corporations, it still falls short of providing enough relief for ordinary Americans facing brutal economic uncertainty in the midst of this public health crisis,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. He continued, “More protections are also needed to police corporate abuse involving taxpayer bailout funds. Particularly, the new bailout oversight committee and inspector general should be empowered to not only expose corruption but to root it out in real-time and hold cheats accountable.”

Herrig added, “Giving a one-time $1200 check to some families and telling them ‘good luck’ is not going to cut it. It’s like handing them a leaky bucket to deal with a flood. And what about the millions of struggling borrowers who don’t know how they’ll pay their next private student loan bill or those who fall victim to predatory lenders during these desperate times? Congress should immediately begin working on another stimulus that ensures the finances of working America are supported as strongly as the balance sheets of corporate America thanks to this package.”

Much more needs to be done to pull everyday Americans through this crisis that could eclipse the Great Recession. The bill includes zero loan forgiveness or assistance for millions of struggling student borrowers that took private loans; no new protections against predatory lending like interest rate caps; no enforcement authority for the oversight committee and Inspector General overseeing the corporate bailout fund to stop potential corruption and hold people accountable.

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