For Immediate Release
Contact: Omar Tewfik

AFSCME slams Senate ‘skinny bill’ ploy as millions of Americans suffer

AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement slamming Mitch McConnell and his caucus in the Senate for their “skinny bill” political ploy instead of working in a bipartisan fashion to provide relief for millions of struggling Americans and fund essential public services:

“Today’s Senate vote was another meaningless exercise designed to present the illusion of action – nothing more. It was called a ‘skinny bill’ because barely anything was included to help Americans get through a period of unprecedented anxiety and uncertainty. It was a ploy to provide cover for senators who have turned their backs on families and communities being ravaged by this pandemic. It has nothing to do with helping vulnerable people and everything to do with protecting politically vulnerable Republican senators.

“We are in the middle of a devastating recession and the worst public health crisis in a century. The economy has lost more than 10 million jobs since February. Eight million more people have slipped into poverty just since May. The relief provided by the CARES Act is rapidly expiring. Many families are struggling to pay their bills each month, terrified of contracting a deadly virus and unable to send their children to school. America doesn’t have a ‘skinny’ problem, so this isn’t a time for ‘skinny’ solutions. We need bold investments that meet this moment.

“The Heroes Act has been in Mitch McConnell’s inbox for five months now, and he is still stuck on the pause button. McConnell and his caucus have zero sense of urgency about providing relief to working families experiencing unspeakable anguish and hardship. They’re actively standing in the way of a comprehensive deal. All they’re worried about, by McConnell’s own admission, is how taking up a stimulus bill will interfere with their frantic rush to confirm an anti-worker, anti-health care Supreme Court nominee.

“It’s time to get serious about a bill that funds the front lines, providing robust aid to states, cities, towns and schools. This is the only way to maintain the essential services that give our communities their strength, to keep public service workers on the job and to put the economy on the road to recovery.

“There is still time to reach a compromise on such a bill, which enjoys overwhelming support from the public and from leading economists. But if President Trump and Senator McConnell won’t budge, we will get it done after we replace them in the November 3 elections.”