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EPI report highlights Trump’s failures on coronavirus and need for state and local aid

EPI report highlights Trump’s failures on coronavirus and need for state and local aid
By AFSCME Staff ·

From taking away health care to opposing an increase in the minimum wage; from encouraging offshoring to obstructing fair union elections, the Trump administration over the past four years has done plenty that is bad for workers.

In a report published this week, titled, “50 reasons the Trump administration is bad for workers,” the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) lays it all out. “This analysis reveals that President Trump’s time in office has been marked by a clear commitment to advancing a pro-corporate, anti-worker agenda,” the authors write.

The long list of reasons begins with the Trump administration’s catastrophically poor response to the coronavirus pandemic, which the report calls its “most glaring failure of leadership.” Once the relief funds approved in the CARES Act ran out, the Trump administration opposed the extension of additional unemployment insurance benefits as well as any additional aid to states, cities and towns. Such an abnegation of responsibility toward working families is certain to increase suffering for the foreseeable future and will cost millions more jobs.

EPI argues that the Trump administration’s failed response to the pandemic is in line with its systematic promotion of corporate interests at the expense of working families.

“The pandemic has merely provided the administration another opportunity to continue its attacks on workers’ rights,” the report reads. “Instead of instituting policies to protect the nation’s essential workers, the administration has remained largely silent on workplace safety standards, refusing to issue mandatory emergency standards to protect workers against the new threat of the coronavirus.”

Congress must still act to fund the front lines.

Right now, front-line public service workers – health care workers, corrections officers, custodians, sanitation workers and more – are putting their lives at risk to fight this pandemic. They provide the essential services that we all rely on, from clean water to emergency medical services and safe streets.

Back in May, the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, which contains nearly $1 trillion in state and local aid. This aid would be used by communities across the country to fund essential public services. But the Senate has failed to act. So far, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have done nothing but prove, with every passing week, that they simply don’t care about the plight of average Americans.

The Senate must do more than pay lip service to front-line workers and provide them real support. If it doesn’t pass aid for our states, cities, towns and schools, these everyday heroes will continue to be thanked with pink slips in even greater numbers.

Our nation is going through a nearly unprecedented public health crisis coupled with a devastating economic downturn. AFSCME will continue to fight for a federal relief package that meets the demands of the moment.

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