House Rep Pramila Jayapal introduced the Paycheck Recovery Act in the House on Tuesday. This comes days after she voted against the HEROES Act against party lines. The new legislation has support from progressives and another other important faction – swing-state Democrats.
The Paycheck Recovery Act strives to protect jobs by helping business directly cover a part of the employees’ paycheck. According to many sources, Jayapal wanted this provision in the HEROES Act. Speaker Pelosi was initially open to the idea but decided to leave it out from the final draft. Jayapal is now bringing back the Paycheck Recovery Act as a standalone bill and she has the support of swing-state Dems in the House.
Jayapal Introduces Paycheck Recovery Act. What is it All About?
The legislation aims to replicate an economic relief model used in many parts of Europe. While speaking about the Paycheck Recovery Act, Jayapal said Congress needs to pass the bill to end uncertainty and deliver direct relief to workers.
‘Mass unemployment is a policy choice’ she said.
The Paycheck Recovery Act covers 36M Americans, helping them keep their jobs by picking a portion of their salaries. The legislation covers workers earning up to $90,000 annually and allows businesses to rehire people either laid off or furloughed after March 1.
Jayapal added that the Paycheck Recovery Act is a healthcare solution. Most Americans get their healthcare through their employer. The Payment Recovery Act will help workers keep their job and healthcare during the pandemic and keep small businesses afloat.
The plan is also expected to cost less than what has already been spent in the first two rounds of PPP loans. As of now, the bill has 100 co-sponsors. Most of its supporters include members of the progressive caucus and Democrats from swing states.
Many swing state Dems voted against the HEROES act earlier this week along with Jayapal. They are reportedly not happy with Speaker Pelosi’s approach of boosting unemployment benefits instead of keeping unemployment levels lower. When voting no on the rule vote for the HEROES bill, or simply voting against it, many swing-state Democrats cited the lack of measures to decrease unemployment as the reason behind doing so.
The same swing state Dems are now co-sponsoring the Paycheck Recovery Act Jayapal is bringing forward.
Mitch McConnell and the Republicans don’t seem very interested in passing any more relief legislation. McConnell’s only interest lies in passing liability protection for businesses. However, getting on board with a bill that protects jobs could become an enticing prospect for some Republicans in the Senate.
Senator Cory Gardener(R) from Colorado, who faces a tough reelection fight in November, backed the payback scheme last week.
Fighting for jobs is an electorally popular tactic, even for Republicans. As the PPP loans are not helping unemployment numbers claw back up, members of Congres might support Jayapal and get behind the Paycheck Recovery Act. While HEROES is destined for failure, the objectives of Jayapal’s legislation may attract more GOP senators.
(Image Credit – Joe Mabel)