Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday held a press conference with a group of Republican Senators to call for an immediate fix to a “life-threatening drafting error” in the coronavirus package.
Graham was joined by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, and Florida Sen. Rick Scott at the press conference to discuss the coronavirus emergency legislation. The presser was first announced in a tweet by Graham, saying they “will discuss a massive drafting error in the current version of the coronavirus relief legislation that could have devastating consequences.”
The problem Sasse, Tim Scott and Graham have is that the UI benefits would be larger than what many low-wage workers make because of the *extra $600 per week.*
They worry that would create an incentive for low-wage workers to get laid off and stay laid off.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) March 25, 2020
“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,” the group said in a statement.
“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,” the statement said.
“This isn’t who we are as Americans; this isn’t what we do in a crisis. 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,” the group concluded.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed early Wednesday morning that a bipartisan deal for a nearly $2 trillion emergency relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic had been reached. He said the deal “will get more equipment to the heroes on the front lines” and that “this is a wartime level of investment.” McConnell also added that “this has been a long week for the Senate,” and that the Senate is “going to pass this legislation later today.” (RELATED: Senate And White House Reach Bipartisan Deal On Nearly $2 Trillion Emergency Relief Package)
The text is set to come out later Wednesday. North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows was on Capitol Hill late, telling reporters the deal will happen “very very soon,” and it did. (RELATED: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Delays Coronavirus Relief Bill Vote After Not Committing)
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delayed the passage of the Senate’s coronavirus relief package on Wednesday, as the House was in session for nearly three minutes and then adjourned until Thursday.