Worker Bailout Saved by Negotiations

For Immediate Release: March 27, 2020
Contact: Lee Morrow, lmorrow@networklobby.org, 202-601-7871

Worker Bailout Saved by Negotiations
Sr. Simone: “Thank heavens for the true leaders who saved the worker bailout.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After critical negotiations, Congress has passed a bailout package for workers and hospitals. This package will begin to provide security for many in this time of crisis, while ensuring that no tax-payer dollars go to corporate stock buy-backs or executive raises and bonuses.

The original package proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell included large corporate bailouts with no protections for workers and no oversight. The original bill also left hospitals and medical workers without the funding they need to protect us in this crisis. Because Democrats refused to accept Leader McConnell’s partisan bill and negotiated for fixes, we now have a bill that significantly bails out workers and hospitals.

This bill includes many of NETWORK’s recommendations and approves much needed funds for hospitals, state, and local governments; expands unemployment insurance for workers; and puts conditions on business assistance. In short, this bill puts families first and NETWORK strongly supports it.

The work is not yet done. The most vulnerable have little ability to weather a long term health or economic crisis and will require additional care during this pandemic. If ever there was a time to uphold the Gospel call to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, cure the sick, and care for the imprisoned, it is now. Congress must continue the bipartisan work to protect all vulnerable people in our nation.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:

“Thank heavens for the true leaders who saved the worker bailout. They insisted on robust supports for workers when Mitch McConnell tried to ram a big business slush fund through the Senate. As a major tenet of Catholic Social Teaching, the people must be served by the economy, not the other way round. That means protecting workers. No-strings-attached bailouts lead to layoffs and corruption, all at the expense of the taxpayer. This negotiated bill truly helps workers and hospitals.

“We should celebrate this relief and the hard work of Congress, but we cannot stop now. Congress must protect immigrants, bolster SNAP benefits, ensure that states can carry out this year’s election. I share Pope Francis’s prayer: ‘Enlighten those responsible for the common good, so that they might know how to care for those entrusted to their responsibility.'”

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NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org