Inadequate "skinny" relief bill fails, even with Portman's support
Posted September 10, 2020 in Press Releases
Today, the U.S. Senate voted down a “skinny” COVID relief bill that fell far short of what Americans need during the pandemic recession. Policy Matters Ohio Senior Project Director Wendy Patton released the following statement:
“The Senate’s ‘Targeted Proposal’ missed the mark to help struggling families get back on their feet and local economies recover. It is a weak, late response to the pandemic recession, compared to the robust HEROES Act passed months ago by the House.
“The $600 federal unemployment checks and economic stimulus payments helped families pay the rent and kept local economies going. This bill does too little to keep that protection in place.
“It is deeply disappointing that Senator Portman voted for this ‘skinny’ COVID package, so-called because it fails to address many critical needs. We urge him to work with the Administration and Congressional Democrats to pass a COVID relief package that helps struggling families with income support, food, health care and housing and provides increased, flexible funding for state and local government public services. Our federal leaders must get to work on a meaningful relief package. Ohioans can’t continue to wait.
Patton said the bill fell short in many ways. For example, it:
- Cut federal unemployment payments from the $600 benefit of the CARES Act to $300.
- Failed to include the economic stimulus checks families need to pay rent and buy groceries.
- Failed to help state and local governments with budget shortfalls that are causing layoffs of public workers, deepening the recession.
- Prioritized funding for schools with in-person classes rather than safeguarding public health.
- Would have expanded tax credits for private school scholarships and vouchers.
- Protected companies from COVID-related liability instead of working people exposed to COVID on the job.
- Continued an approach used in the CARES Act that disproportionately favored private for-profit institutions over public colleges and universities.
For more analysis of the federal response to the pandemic and recession, see also: