Statement from Vice President Joe Biden on Congressional Economic Stimulus Negotiations
It’s simple: President Trump and Mitch McConnell are trying to put corporate bailouts ahead of families. And it’s simply wrong.
Here’s what’s happening. The White House and the Senate Republicans have proposed a $500 billion slush fund for corporations, with almost no conditions. Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary would decide which big businesses get how much, and he can give out billions with virtually no strings attached. The Trump Administration could even allow companies to use taxpayers’ money for stock buybacks and executive pay packages, and they don’t have to tell Americans where the money is going for months.
This is par for the course for this president. We have just watched too many CEOs spend the last few years squandering the massive Trump corporate tax cuts on buying back their own stock and increasing their own compensation, rather than investing in their workers or making their businesses more sustainable. No more blank checks to corporations. Any lifelines to big companies should ensure the aid lifts up workers, instead of enriching CEOs or shareholders. If these companies are taking money from taxpayers, they must make an enforceable commitment that they will keep workers on payroll.
We can’t let Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell hold small businesses, workers, and communities hostage until they get their no-strings corporate bailout. McConnell should immediately allow a bipartisan vote on aggressive measures to help small businesses, workers, and communities first, so the relief they need can get moving.
To make matters worse, as they carry water for corporate America, President Trump and Mitch McConnell are refusing to give states and communities on the front lines the help they need to deal with the crisis they are facing. They are refusing to provide sufficient, sustainable relief to workers. They are denying millions the emergency paid leave they deserve to help keep families safe. They are refusing to forgive a minimum of $10,000 of student debt per person. They are refusing to increase Social Security benefits for our seniors and people with disabilities. They are refusing to provide enough health coverage or Medicaid funding during a public health emergency. And they are refusing to take the necessary steps to ensure food and nutrition for vulnerable families or to prevent these families from losing their homes.
This is a time to help families, communities, and small businesses. The people trying to pay mortgages and rent, student loans and urgent bills — they need help and they shouldn’t have to pay for a corporate handout before they get it. The family-run restaurant that is trying to stay open and pay its workers — they need a lifeline. The worker who is losing hours and therefore losing wages — they need to be made whole. The family that will go hungry tonight — they need food on the table. Those losing jobs — they need strong, sustained unemployment benefits whether they are a gig worker or a full-time employee. Social Security checks need to be boosted. Student debt should be forgiven. Cash relief needs to go out fast to all of the people who need it the most.
These are the hardworking, struggling Americans who should come first — not the big corporations looking for a blank check. That’s not only good economics. That’s who we are as Americans — we lend a hand to help each other, we step up when hard times fall. We all deserve leadership that does the same.