Connect with us

Politics

Sherrod Brown slams Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s economic relief

Published

on

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, grilled Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over the administration’s coronavirus economic relief efforts during a Tuesday Senate hearing. 
  • “How many workers should give their lives to increase our GDP by half a percent?” Brown, the top Democrat on the committee, asked Mnuchin, referring to US gross domestic product.
  • Brown and other Democrats want the federal government to implement hazard pay, which would boost wages for essential workers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, grilled Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over President Donald Trump’s coronavirus economic relief efforts, urging the administration to boost pay for low-wage essential workers. 

While Trump and his aides are hitting the brakes on federal fiscal spending as unemployment surges, Powell is pushing the administration to spend more to help laid-off workers and businesses on the verge of bankruptcy. 

Brown and other Democrats want the federal government to implement hazard pay, which would boost wages for essential workers, who are risking their lives as they work through the pandemic. Many essential workers make less than laid-off Americans who collect unemployment insurance. 

“A grocery store worker in Ohio told me recently, ‘I don’t feel safe at work and they don’t pay me much. I don’t feel essential, I feel expendable,'” Brown said during a virtual Tuesday hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. He added later, “Thanking is great, but is it fair that our economy pays the essential workers so little in such dangerous conditions?” 

At one point during Brown’s questioning, he asked Mnuchin to estimate how many American workers would die from the coronavirus if they’re forced to return to work without proper measures in place to contain the virus’ spread. 

“How many workers should give their lives to increase our GDP by half a percent?” Brown, the top Democrat on the committee, asked Mnuchin, referring to US gross domestic product.

Mnuchin replied, “No workers should give their lives to do that, Mr. Senator, and I think your characterization is unfair.” 

Mnuchin received bipartisan criticism on Tuesday from lawmakers who said the almost $3 trillion in aid Congress has passed isn’t getting to businesses as quickly as it should. 

Trump has long pushed for the economy to reopen quickly, even as health experts urge states to follow federal guidelines to ensure new virus outbreaks don’t grow out of control. 

Brown also slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over his “reckless decision” to reconvene the Senate even as health experts warn the chamber doesn’t have the necessary measures in place to keep senators, their staff, and all Senate employees safe from the virus. 

LoadingSomething is loading.
Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending