For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

AFSCME’s Saunders: GOP COVID proposal ‘falls spectacularly short of meeting the moment’

Front-line public service workers welcome ‘bipartisan conversation,’ but GOP plan falls short. Congressional leaders must unite around a big, bold package to help American families

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement on the stimulus plan released over the weekend by 10 Senate Republicans:

“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. But to say the least, the counterproposal offered by 10 Republican senators this weekend falls spectacularly short of meeting the moment.

“The failure to include any flexible funding at all for states, cities, towns and schools is a non-starter. This aid has to be the centerpiece of any effort 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 right now, 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.

“Too many times, front-line public service workers have played Charlie Brown to the GOP’s Lucy holding the football – 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.

“So while we welcome their overture and hope that ultimately we can work with them, it has to be a serious conversation about what American families and communities really need to get moving again. The president’s American Rescue Plan will do just that.”