COLLINS SPOKE OUT ON THE SENATE FLOOR AGAINST CHANGES THAT PUT MAINERS AHEAD OF HER SPECIAL INTEREST DONORS
Portland, MAINE — Last night, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic that — thanks to changes in the last 24 hours that Senator Collins opposed — mandates oversight and accountability of federal assistance provided to corporations, strengthens unemployment benefits for Maine workers who have been laid off, provides more funding for Maine hospitals and increases aid to the State of Maine.
“If Susan Collins and Mitch McConnell had gotten their way, this bill would be a total giveaway to corporations, with a massive, secretive slush fund for many of Collins’ top donors,” said Willy Ritch executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “Luckily, we have true leaders in Congress who fought to make this bill better for working families — to put us ahead of corporate profits. We need Senator Collins to follow their lead and listen to Mainers who are being hit hard, not the corporations that have already benefited from her vote for massive tax breaks just 27 months ago.”
The previous version of the bill proposed by Senate Republicans, of which Senator Collins was a vocal supporter, provided corporations access to a $500 billion-dollar, no-strings attached slush fund, and gave low-income families half the amount of direct assistance as wealthier ones.
Collins voted twice, along party lines, for an earlier version of the bill, which included a “secret bailout” provision that would have allowed the Trump Administration to withhold the names of corporations getting payments and even would have allowed those payments to go to businesses owned by President Trump and his family.
Among the changes made to the legislation in the legislation are the following measures:
- Prohibit businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.
- Ban stock buybacks for the term of the government assistance plus 1 year on any company receiving a government loan from the bill.
- Establish robust worker protections attached to all federal loans for businesses.
- Create real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations.
- Create a Treasury Department Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of Treasury loans and a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars.
- Eliminated “secret bailout” provision that would have allowed bailouts to corporations to be concealed for 6 months.
About the 16 Counties Coalition
The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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