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McConnell’s Skinny Bill Is Dead. Can Serious Negotiations Begin Now?

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Executive Vice President, Public Citizen

WASHINGTON - Note: The U.S. Senate voted today on a slimmed down coronavirus response package proposed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). As expected, the bill failed to pass.

McConnell knew his skinny bill was dead on arrival, and the American people deserve better. His bill was never a serious proposal, and remarkably, offered even less aid than the bill he backed in August. It provided nowhere near the economic relief struggling families need and still let corporations off the hook for endangering workers and consumers—a dealbreaker for any bipartisan bill. 

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Senate Republicans’ priorities are completely upside down. They’re against providing state and local governments with critical aid to fund public services and schools but in favor of granting businesses immunity from lawsuits related to the coronavirus. The pandemic is already widening social and economic divisions. Shielding corporations from accountability will endanger workers, consumers, and patients, and make the pandemic even worse. 

McConnell’s political gamesmanship has been nothing but a roadblock to the substantive relief Americans need during the pandemic. Hopefully, the failure of his scaled-back bill will be followed by negotiations on a serious bill to provide meaningful funding to secure our elections, fund the U.S. Postal Service, ensure all people have access to vaccines and fund our first responders and schools.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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