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Republican Senators Oppose Fast-Tracking Coronavirus Bill

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After blasting Democrats for dragging their feet on the coronavirus stimulus bill, some Republican senators now oppose the new draft of the bill, saying that the Department of Labor should issue guidance ensuring that “no American would earn more by not working than by working.”

In a joint press release, Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) expressed concern with the latest draft of the bill.

The trio of Republicans wrote, “A massive drafting error in the current version of the coronavirus relief legislation could have devastating consequences: Unless this bill is fixed, there is a strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work.”

They continued:

“This isn’t an abstract, philosophical point — it’s an immediate real-world problem. If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables.”

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They closed by saying, “We must sadly oppose the fast-tracking of this bill until this text is addressed, or the Department of Labor issues regulatory guidance that no American would earn more by not working than by working.”

They also spoke about their bill in a press conference on Wednesday, in which they referred to the “drafting error” that they said is in the current language.

After days of nonstop negotiating, Congress said on Wednesday that they have reached a deal on the $2 million stimulus package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the time, “This is a wartime level of investment into our nation.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also expressed support for the legislation on Wednesday, after initially condemning earlier drafts of the bill proposed by McConnell. The speaker said in a statement, “Thanks to the unity and insistence of Senate and House Democrats, the bill has moved a great deal closer to America’s workers.”

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