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Newsflash: the people on the front lines of the global pandemic fight aren't bankers and brokers.

For a couple of days, it looked like Congressional Republicans were going to break with history and actually do the right thing.

Then, they released their plan to respond to the novel coronavirus and showed that they've got the same contempt for working people that they've always had. It's the usual collage of out-of-touch priorities: tax cuts for the super-rich, bailouts for billion-dollar corporations, and a total ignorance of the problems facing American families.

Only today's GOP would think that the best way to respond to a deadly, highly contagious disease is "give a former Goldman-Sachs executive $500 billion to hand out to massive corporations, no questions asked."

Newsflash: the people on the front lines of the global pandemic fight aren't billionaire bankers and brokers.

Here's what I'm fighting for, along with my colleagues:

  • First, we need to get the medical community has everything they need to take care of the sick. That means using the Defense Production Act to make sure we're producing enough masks, smocks, ventilators, and other equipment to contain the virus.

  • Our economic efforts must support working families, many of whom are already living paycheck-to-paycheck, with a monthly direct payment of $2,000 per person as well as improved workplace protections and paid family and medical leave.

  • Similarly, any corporation that accepts a bailout from taxpayers must guarantee workers' wages and benefits, not payouts to CEOs and shareholders.

  • Finally, need nationwide vote-by-mail. At a time when going to the polls is a hazard to our health, we have to protect our most fundamental democratic rights. Protecting the health of our democracy is as important as protecting the health of our people and our economy.

I'm going to keep leading the work to support working families and our most vulnerable through this crisis, and I won't back down until we've made sure everyone is safe.

Courage,
Earl

Posted on March 24, 2020.