Schumer: ‘Maybe a Little Good’ of Restoring Social Safety Net Will Come out of ‘This Horrible, Horrible Crisis’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) laid out the demands Democrats have for the third coronavirus bill, and stated that repairing the social safety net and “changing the way we think about how corporations should govern” are potential positives and future improvements that could come out of dealing with the “horrible crisis” of the coronavirus.

Schumer said, “I think there will be bailouts of the [airline] industry and other industries. … But I’d say a few things. Number one, any bailout that Democrats will support has to put the workers first. We’re not going to bail out an industry and have them cut workers, cut their salaries, and all kinds of things like that. This is for the workers, above all. Second, we’re going to have to put some brakes on some of these executives. The [airline] industry itself did about $300 billion in stock buybacks over the last year. … That is outrageous. And we’re going to have to, somehow, figure out how to make up for that. Because the airlines shouldn’t be allowed to do that, in the past, or in the future. And none of this can go to executive salaries or things like that. So, if I had to describe what kind of rescue of the [airline] industry that we would support, it’s worker-friendly above all. Second, get rid of the corporate excesses, not just during this situation, but permanently.”

He added that Democrats will demand that paid sick leave and paid family leave, a remake of unemployment insurance into “employment insurance,” and a “Marshall Plan for our hospitals” be included in the bill.

Schumer later stated, “[I]n this awful, awful cloud, maybe a little good will come out of it. The social safety net has been ripped apart, particularly in the last ten years, when the Tea Party was so dominant in the House of Representatives, and now, in many ways in the White House. To restore some of that social safety net by improving unemployment insurance, by improving paid leave, family leave and sick leave, and doing many other things, and changing the way we think about how corporations should govern. Maybe there should be some working representatives, labor representatives on corporate boards, things like that, could take this horrible, horrible crisis, and, dealing with what we have to deal with now, still create some improvements on into the future.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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