FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: August 10, 2020
Majority Leader McConnell Has Refused to Negotiate on Relief Package, Leaving House and Senate Democrats to Deal With White House and Resulting in an Executive Order that Only Creates Confusion and Threatens Medicare and Social Security
Portland, MAINE — While the incomes of millions of laid-off Americans are left in limbo, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, enabled by Senate Republicans including Maine Senator Susan Collins, has refused to come to the table in negotiations on a new coronavirus relief package. This has left the House, and Senate Democrats, to negotiate with representatives from the White House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who have limited powers to directly address issues like taxes and government spending that are the responsibility of Congress.
In the absence of Senate leadership, President Trump signed several executive orders, including deferring liability for payroll taxes, which fund Medicare and Social Security. These executive orders not only threaten bedrock programs that many Americans rely on to fund retirement, they sow confusion and do little to address the economic impacts of historic levels of unemployment that have left millions of American families struggling to make ends meet.
Willy Ritch, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition issued this statement in response: “Senator Collins is accusing Democrats of playing games and not negotiating in good faith — but she won’t even come to the table. Susan Collins is happy to allow Mitch McConnell to drag his heels and refuse to bring the bill passed by the House up for a vote while laid-off workers and Maine families are struggling even harder to get by. Every day Susan Collins and Mitch McConnell allow this debate to drag on is another day that Mainers aren’t getting the help they need.”
While the rest of Maine’s congressional delegation has denounced the executive order and the threat it poses to Medicare and Social Security, Maine Senator Susan Collins issued a statement blaming the House and Senate Democrats for inaction, despite the fact that the House passed a relief bill months ago that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring up for a vote.
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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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