As the U.S. moves towards 1,000,000 coronavirus cases, our team in Washington, D.C. is examining the issues that likely won’t be featured tonight during primetime cable news — including multiple steps being taken to provide additional financial relief to American workers. You can watch our D.C. team’s original reporting in the video above.
Those out of work during the coronavirus pandemic may find themselves wondering when things will go back to normal.
“This is gonna take some time,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) said.
Democratic lawmakers from Alabama to Vermont want to get money in the bank accounts of workers who need it most.
“We’re still gonna be seeing people not working but that are gonna need a paycheck,” Jones added.
Sen. Jones wants to create a “PAYCHECK SECURITY” grant.
“It’s not just for small businesses or large businesses. It would be for non-profits, it would be for a business of any size that has lost about 20 percent of their revenue,” Jones said.
Jones’ plan would cover salaries and wages of up to $90,000 plus benefits for each furloughed or laid-off employee.
It would also send money to directly to employers to cover some business operating costs like rent, utilities and maintenance.
Jones tells me his plan is different than the recently-replenished Paycheck Protection Program because it cuts out bankers and business loans and sends the money directly to employees through their payroll plans.
As states look toward re-opening their economies, Jones hopes this provides some cushion to allow workers to stay safely at home as long as necessary.
“So we can do it the right way and not try to rush it and open and get businesses going when it’s too early to do so,” he said.
Democrats hope to include this proposal in the next phase of coronavirus aid from Capitol Hill.
But so far, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet agreed to allow a vote on another relief package.