New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed Senate Republicans’ new coronavirus stimulus plan on Tuesday, telling reporters the proposal is “a non-starter” and, if not bolstered, would put certain frontline workers at risk of losing their jobs.
De Blasio, a Democrat, opened Tuesday’s daily press conference with his thoughts about the plan, addressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name in speaking of the plan and telling him there was “not much of a stimulus there.”
“The Republican Senate plan just doesn’t work and it certainly fails places that have bit hit hardest by the coronavirus, like New York City. … It literally misses the opportunity to help us fight back, fight this disease, restart our economy,” he said. “Think about the first responders, the health care heroes, think about the teachers, think about the sanitation workers all the people we depend on, who right now don’t know if they’re going to have their jobs in the future.”
McConnell, flanked by top GOP chairs Monday at the Capitol, unveiled his long-awaited proposal. It provides some $105 billion to schools and colleges, the K-12 funds tilted toward campuses that reopen with in-person learning. There's more money for virus testing, $15 billion for child care centers and benefits for businesses, including a fresh round of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, tax breaks and a sweeping liability shield from COVID-19-related lawsuits.
But de Blasio said the party’s package is not enough.
“The very people who fought through this crisis and saved us don’t know what the future looks like, not only here but all over the country,” he continued. “There is no new revenue coming, so unless this stimulus happens in Washington on the level we need it to, we won’t be able to save the jobs that we deserve to be saved, we won’t be able to restart our economy.”
In an earlier tweet, de Blasio said McConnell "spent months trying to hide from this pandemic" and called the proposed plan "pathetic."
The Republican proposal would also provide another round of $1,200 direct payments based on the same formula from the earlier aid bill.
It also provides $1.7 billion for a new FBI headquarters in Washington, a non-pandemic-related expense that's a top priority of the president but not of lawmakers or McConnell.
Aid runs out Friday for a $600 weekly jobless benefit that Democrats call a lifeline for out-of-work Americans. Under the GOP proposal, the jobless boost would be reduced to $200 a week for two months through September and phased out to a new system that ensures no more than 70 percent of an employee’s previous pay. States could request an additional two months, if needed, to make the transition.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.