Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is among the number of Republicans who are opposed to the emergency relief bill that passed the House over the weekend. While the Democratic-introduced legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, is intended to help Americans hardest hit by the coronavirus, it also puts a strain on businesses who would now be forced to provide paid sick leave with no sunset periods, Cotton argues.
The House bill sets up a complicated relief system that relies on paid sick leave & refundable tax credits.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 16, 2020
That won’t move quickly enough & puts undue pressure on businesses to lay off workers.
We don’t want to see layoffs—we need cash in the hands of affected families. pic.twitter.com/64hNtYhfJO
"We worry that the bill is setting up a new and complicated system relying on businesses giving paid sick leave and then getting are refundable tax credit that won't move quickly enough and could pressure on those businesses to lay workers off," Cotton explained on Fox News.
The senator said he'd rather put immediate cash into the hands of affected workers and their families. He didn't say how much cash, but Sen. Mitt Romney, who proposed a similar plan this week, wants to send $1,000 checks to every American.
Every American adult should immediately receive a one-time check for $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy. Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options.
Romney also requested providing grants to impacted small businesses, and loan deferments for recent graduates.
"The House coronavirus response package contains critical measures to help families in Utah and across the nation in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, and the Senate should act swiftly on this legislation,” Romney said in a statement on Monday. “We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services. I will be pushing these measures as Senate discussions continue about an additional relief package.”
On Tuesday, President Trump proposed nearly $1 trillion for an emergency stimulus package.