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Speaker Pelosi held a briefing on the Coronavirus Aid Package Bill that will deal with the outbreak of COVID-19.

 U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is followed by members of the media on her way back to her office after a briefing at the U.S. Capitol March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi held a briefing on the Coronavirus Aid Package Bill that will deal with the outbreak of COVID-19. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Paid Sick Leave Loopholes: 'There’s a Giant Hole in Pelosi’s Coronavirus Bill'

"In fact, the bill guarantees sick leave only to about 20 percent of workers."

Common Dreams staff

Early Saturday morning the US House of Representatives voted 363-40 to pass a coronavirus relief package, days after the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic. The US Senate won’t take the bill up until at least Monday, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to give Senators the weekend off.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing widespread criticism Saturday for misrepresenting what the legislation would actually do.

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues Saturday Pelosi wrote:

"I am very proud to write that the provisions we put forth with your input, including paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, enhanced Unemployment Insurance, food security initiatives and free and widespread testing, are all included in this agreement. "

The New York Times editorialized Saturday afternoon:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi early Saturday celebrated passage of legislation she described as providing paid sick leave to American workers affected by the coronavirus.

She neglected to mention the fine print.

In fact, the bill guarantees sick leave only to about 20 percent of workers. Big employers like McDonald’s and Amazon are not required to provide any paid sick leave, while companies with fewer than 50 employees can seek hardship exemptions from the Trump administration.

“If you are sick, stay home,” Vice President Mike Pence said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. “You’re not going to miss a paycheck.”

But that’s simply not true. Sick workers should stay home, but there is no guarantee in the emergency legislation that most of them will get paid.

The White House and congressional Republicans, who insisted on the exemptions as the price of bipartisan support for the legislation, bear the primary responsibility for the indefensible decision to prioritize corporate profits in the midst of a public health emergency...

The House’s failure to require universal paid sick leave is an embarrassment that endangers the health of workers, consumers and the broader American public.


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Poll Shows Majority Oppose Supreme Court's Attack on Fundamental Rights

Fifty-six of respondents said they're now concerned the court will attack marriage equality and the right to obtain contraception.

Julia Conley ·


Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

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