House and Senate are able to pass a bipartisan stimulus bill that helps calm the rising sense of economic insecurity in the face of a deadly pandemic.
Over the past 24 hours, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been inching toward a deal with the White House on the package. When no deal was reached Thursday night, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent the Senate home for the weekend.
Blumenthal and Murphy said they would prefer to be in Washington D.C. to vote on a stimulus package.
What difference does a few days make?
“Parents are making decisions right now about Monday,” Murphy said. “Are they going to be able to take time off work? Or are they going to leave their child at home?”
Murphy said they have to give confidence to workers to let them know if they take time off work they will be compensated.
“We have a public health emergency, but we also have a potential safety emergency because we’re going to have kids with nowhere to go next week because school districts and municipalities have made the right decision to cancel schools, but parents aren’t going to be home because they don’t know if they can afford time off work,” Murphy said. “That is an awful choice for parents to have to make.”
Blumenthal said decisions about whether to go to work or not are critical to the spread of the disease. He said the assurance that a person won’t lose a paycheck because they have to stay home is crucial.
Blumenthal said time is also crucial to small businesses making decisions about whether to keep their doors open.
“These small businesses are on the verge of potential crisis,” Blumenthal said.
Murphy and Blumenthal said they support a declaration of a national emergency because it would give President Donald Trump powers and access to $42.6 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency coffers.
Blumenthal quickly added though that there needs to be checks on those powers.
What should the economic stimulus package include?
Blumenthal and Murphy said there should be no bailouts for specific industries like the airline or cruise industry that have been hit hard by the pandemic as people stay at home and cancel travel plans.
“We should learn from past mistakes. We should provide this aid not to industries but to individuals,” Blumenthal said.
He said that’s because it’s the best economic stimulus.
US Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy give an update on COVID-19
Posted by CTNewsJunkie on Friday, March 13, 2020