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Saunders says latest GOP stimulus proposal ‘falls spectacularly short’

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with 10 Republican senators in the Oval Office at the White House. (Photo by Doug Mills/Getty Images)
By Pete Levine ·

AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the COVID-19 stimulus proposal released over the weekend by 10 Senate Republicans “falls spectacularly short of meeting the moment.”

“We welcome a bipartisan conversation about how we can distribute the vaccine, jumpstart job creation and help the millions of people experiencing hardship during this pandemic,” he said in a statement today. “But to say the least, the counterproposal offered by 10 Republican senators this weekend falls spectacularly short of meeting the moment.”

What’s so problematic about the proposal? For one, it fails to include any flexible funding at all for states, cities, towns and schools. That ought to be the centerpiece of any effort, Saunders said, “to get shots into arms, crush the virus and get our economy open and growing.”

Health care, emergency services, sanitation, water treatment and other essential public services are on the chopping block, threatening jobs and undermining the strength and vitality of our communities. Funding the front lines is overwhelmingly popular, and experts across the ideological spectrum have identified it as essential to restoring economic growth.   

“Front-line public service workers have played Charlie Brown to the GOP’s Lucy, holding the football too many times – working to meet halfway only to have the goal posts move continuously out of reach. We have also seen the consequences of failing to ‘go big’ during the Great Recession: years of a slow, painful recovery,” Saunders said.

President Joe Biden’s bold recovery plan is the one that meets the moment, providing the aid that our communities and the essential workers who’re keeping them afloat need.

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