#TakeAction – March 22, 2020
Email from Indivisible at 12:45 pm today. TLDR: call our Senators TODAY. Regardless of party, your senators need to hear loud and clear from you that you demand they put people over profits.
Conversations and deal-making on the Hill are moving quickly, with a vote coming as soon as 6 pm eastern tonight. We wanted to give you an update on where things stand – and what we need you to do today.
A few hours ago, we heard from our contacts that Republicans in the Senate (read: Mitch McConnell) and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin (yes, this Steve Mcnuchin) are circulating a proposal that amounts to a taxpayer-funded corporate bailout with no strings attached. McConnell’s “solution” includes:
No requirement that companies maintain payroll or benefits
No requirements to reduce executive pay
Limited restrictions on stock buybacks (that Mnuchin can waive)
The proposal as written would give Mnuchin complete discretion over how to dole out the half-a-trillion dollars in taxpayer funds, and then hide the identity of the bailout recipients from the public for six months.
In practice, this means that Trump hotel properties could receive a huge wads of cash, fire their workers, and we wouldn’t even know about it until much, much later. It means that airlines that spent 96% of their profits over the past decade on stock buybacks would get a bailout, while their workers get laid off.
To top it off, after all those handouts for big business, the proposal includes no Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provisions to protect frontline workers; no specific provisions to protect individuals from eviction, foreclosure, or forbearance; no additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds; no expanded emergency leave provisions; no funds to help with treatment of the uninsured; no guarantee that undocumented immigrants can get free testing; and it does not provide adequate relief for the 44 million federal student loan borrowers. Direct cash payments would also not be available to millions of people who did not file a return in 2018 or 2019, and it would exclude some taxpaying immigrant families, some with kids who are US citizens, from benefiting from the checks.
Or, to say it more simply: This “solution” protects and helps big business, but not everyday people.
Regardless of party, your senators need to hear loud and clear from you that you demand they put people over profits (you can read more about what a people-first response looks like at our #PeopleOverProfits Hub). Here’s what you can do right now:
Call both your senators to demand they center people over profits. Even if they aren’t taking calls today (we’re hearing reports that some are), leave a voicemail. Text PPL to 977-79 and we’ll connect you, or use this call page to read through the script and get connected. If voicemail boxes are full, you can also send an email here.
Record a 30 second video that says people over profits. We’re compiling videos from all over the country from people just like you with a simple message: your name, where you’re from, and that you demand a people-first response from your members of Congress. Visit our video tool, look at the camera from your computer or phone, say your name and where you’re from, and the message, “I demand Congress put people over profits.” We’ll tag your senators, and you can share with friends and neighbors to get involved in this fight.
Chip in if you can. Our team is working in overdrive to keep folks updated with developments from the Hill and ways to take action in this moment. Everyone needs to pitch in, but if you can, chip in $10 to help us fund this and all our work.
In the words of Elizabeth Warren this morning, “the health and security of all Americans must be the priority, not coddling CEOs. Democrats must fight for more testing. For hospitals. For workers. For direct relief to families. And for accountability for an administration that has bungled its response from the start.”
Thanks for doing this work with us. And thanks for getting loud to tell Congress people over profits. Period.