GOP Watchdog: Coronavirus Stimulus Bill May HURT Workers Instead of Relieving Them

‘It’s a dream policy of House and Senate Democrats that could be implemented during the time of an emergency…’

GOP Watchdog: Coronavirus Stimulus Bill May HURT Workers Instead of Relieving Them

Sen. Ron Johnson / PHOTO: FreedomWorks

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As details unfold over what was included in House Democrats’ coronavirus stimulus bill, which was passed last Saturday with little opportunity for review, FreedomWorks is among those sounding the alarm over leftist wish-list items like its paid family leave proposal.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act may, in fact, hurt those it seeks to relieve as disease panic grips the world and has forced leaders into implementing economy-wrecking ‘social distancing’ policies.

The bill, which the Senate expects to take up within the week, includes “provisions that would certainly have devastating unintended consequences,” said the conservative think-tank and advocacy group.

The act, as it stands, would require employers to extend 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to anyone who has been on the job for more than 30 days. At least two weeks would require full paid, and an additional 10 would entail no less than two-thirds of the employee’s normal pay.

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“It’s a dream policy of House and Senate Democrats that could be implemented during the time of an emergency,” said FreedomWorks.

While some legislative fixes already have been implemented to set additional qualifications, FreedomWorks said that it remains “far-reaching.”

As a result, “Some employers who are cash-strapped because of the disruption in business and related uncertainty may simply lay off workers rather than be forced to comply with a costly mandate,” it said.

However, FreedomWorks noted that a recently proposed amendment from Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., sought to fix the bill by striking three of the major provisions in it—those applying to small-businesses, as well as the sick-leave provisions and another permitting tax-credit bailouts of businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“[S]uch relief from this burdensome mandate may not come quickly enough for businesses operating on thin profit margins or at a loss,” FreedomWorks said.

While several conservative and libertarian co-sponsors supported Johnson’s amendment, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., one of the most vocal advocates of fiscal responsibility, was not among them.

Surprisingly, Paul, who has a background as a medical doctor, came out in strong support for channeling resources to control the virus’s spread in the U.S.

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Paul said the need to prioritize spending on the health emergency only underscored the need to curtail it elsewhere.

“[N]ext time, maybe in the not-too-distant future, our children may not even be able to borrow their way out of a crisis,” Paul said.

“All because we refused to do what we were elected to do, which is to prioritize the truly vital, such as coronavirus relief and medical research, over the extraneous, such as spending money on clown colleges, gas stations, and roads in Afghanistan,” he added.