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Sanders, Warren Urge Colleagues to Include $1,200 Direct Payments in the Next Relief Package

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are leading a group of senators in calling for another round of $1,200 direct payments in the next COVID-19 relief package.

“The American people need help and they need help now. We agree with President-elect Biden that a $1,200 direct payment should be included in this proposal. We also feel strongly that we should not provide immunity to corporations who endanger the health and lives of their employees,” the senators wrote in a letter penned Tuesday.

They added, “Please join us in demanding that any new COVID-relief proposal includes a $1,200 direct payment to adults and $500 to their children. Further, please work with us to make certain that there is no language in this bill to give a liability shield to corporations who threaten the health and safety of workers and customers.”

While the senators expressed their appreciation for the $908 billion bipartisan proposal, they suggested it was not nearly enough to assist Americans through the crisis.

They noted the proposal only allocates $300 a week for unemployed Americans rather than $600.

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“Further, unlike the $1,200 direct payment for every working class individual and $500 for each child, it provides absolutely no direct payment,” the letter reads.

The lawmakers criticized the proposal for providing legal protection to corporations.

“It would continue to provide a get-out-of-jail free card to companies
that put the lives of their workers and customers at risk,” they wrote.

The senators reiterated they believe the bipartisan relief bill is not enough.

“Given the enormity of the crisis today, it would be unacceptable to take a major step backwards from those previous efforts by passing legislation that only included $348 billion in new money,” they said.

Other senators who signed the letter include Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

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