WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement regarding the Coronavirus assistance package currently being considered by Congress.
Senator Rick Scott said, “We can’t forget that the best economic stimulus package is to stem the spread of Coronavirus. If we solve this problem, the economic problems will become much easier to solve. I’m glad both parties are coming together to help those affected by Coronavirus. Congress often acts slowly and it’s a real positive to see the urgency with which Congress is acting to get something done. There are many good things in this bill, including ramping up testing to ensure people who need a test can get one.
“But I am very concerned about some of the mandates in this bill that will hurt small businesses. And I’m concerned that adding layers of government bureaucracy, regulation and mandates will make it harder for help to get to the people that need it most – hourly workers, people who rely on tips, and workers in the gig economy. Whatever we pass should limit the unintended consequences for American job creators. After all, we’ll be looking to them soon to help us rebuild our economy and recover from this crisis.”
Senator Scott wants to see the following in the final Coronavirus assistance package:
- Any new funding must be directly tied to the Coronavirus response. This crisis shouldn’t be an opportunity for members of Congress to permanently expand the welfare state and fund their pet projects. We must make sure that this funding goes directly to those affected by the virus.
- Mandatory paid sick leave must help both the individuals affected by the virus and the small business. We cannot pass something that will unduly burden small businesses and shift costs on them at a time they are seeing significant reductions in their business, and we need to make sure employees who are able to work are going so small businesses can keep their doors open. We cannot add mandates that will hurt operations for small businesses.
- There must be a process for the federal government to ensure that small businesses have the cash to cover the paid sick leave requirement. If Congress insists on moving forward with the bill as it currently stands, at the very least we need to make sure there is a process for the federal government to ensure that small businesses have the cash on hand to cover this new paid sick leave requirement. The tax credit provisions could take too long to get to small businesses that are struggling now to keep their doors open. We should also look at expanding Small Business loans to help struggling job creators NOW.
- Rather than exempting big businesses (those with 500+ employees), we should make sure that small businesses (those with less than 50 employees) are exempted, without having to apply for a waiver, and utilize existing programs, like Unemployment Insurance, to cover the costs of paid sick leave for the employees of small businesses.