Brainerd Dispatch Staff
This week, Democratic Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith joined Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and over 30 colleagues in a letter to President Trump calling for an economic stimulus package focused on helping working Americans and their families who will be most harmed by the outbreak and spread of the new coronavirus across the United States.
“The spread of COVID-19 will create economic ramifications that will affect individuals, families, and regions differently. While following social distancing guidelines may be important to mitigate the spread of the virus, it creates potentially grave economic challenges for American workers who are not easily able to telework or who do not have access to paid leave. Further limitations on travel, access to more common general services, and cancellation of major events will potentially hurt a large number of Americans who work or depend upon hospitality, travel, tourism, and retail businesses,” the letter states.
“Thus the goal of any economic stimulus should be directly aimed at the two types of workers who will be most harmed. First, any proposed relief should directly target workers who may have followed medical guidance to self-quarantine because of potential exposure, or those who are required to care for a family member,” the letter continues. “Second, it should also ensure that workers whose employment or income is significantly jeopardized by industries who may experience the economic slowdown as a consequence of the spread of the virus are appropriately protected. Further, any mechanism to provide relief must predominately be done as a pass through to workers. Our focus should not be on boosting company returns; instead, our focus should be on helping workers, including hourly workers and those workers at small or retail businesses who often don’t have access to short term savings or paid time off.”