PENNSYLVANIA – As the CARES package from March expires, Pat Toomey and Senate Republicans released their coronavirus relief proposal which would cut federal unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $200, leaving struggling, unemployed Pennsylvanians without a lifeline.
“Pat Toomey has been a leading voice in refusing additional funds to help Pennsylvanians struggling to stay afloat during a global pandemic,” said Brendan Welch, communications director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “Pat Toomey has no problem providing aid for corporations and millionaires, but when it comes to ensuring Pennsylvanians have the means to survive in the midst of this pandemic, he is completely absent. Pat Toomey has once again fallen in line with Trump and McConnell to stick it to Pennsylvanians. It’s time for Pat Toomey to quit playing games and help the people he was elected to serve.”
“The Senate GOP plan calls for the reduction in increased federal unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 per week for a 60-day period, or until states are able to provide a 70 percent wage replacement. This prospective change had been floated by the White House last week, although there have been concerns whether state unemployment agencies could handle the revisions.” [Politico, 07/27/20]
Back on March 20, as Congress was in final negotiations on the $2 trillion CARES Act, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) described the goal of the bill as ensuring that “American’s livelihoods are intact when we get through this.” Now, almost three months later, he has become one of the Senate’s leading voices against another round of stimulus, arguing that the focus should be on getting people back to their livelihoods. “I would be very, very reluctant to support any kind of legislation that’s going to have the effect – even if unintended – of delaying the reopening,” he said Thursday in a interview with Yahoo Finance that covered a range of topics including Toomey’s questioning of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell earlier in the week. Toomey has been skeptical of efforts to re-up certain provisions of the CARES Act such as direct stimulus checks and extending unemployment insurance. “It’s not obvious to me that we need to load the money cannon and fire that off again,” he said. [Yahoo Finance, 6/18/20]
Sen. Pat Toomey has been refusing to help struggling Pennsylvanians with additional financial relief, saying that “For us to load the money cannon again” is “a tough sell”. [Altoona Mirror, 7/25]