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Chamber of Commerce calls for coronavirus relief legislation without paid sick leave

Chamber of Commerce calls for coronavirus relief legislation without paid sick leave
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote to Congress on Thursday to request coronavirus relief legislation that doesn’t try to address longer-term issues so a bipartisan solution can be reached. 

The powerful business lobbying group acknowledged the need to address paid sick leave, an issue Democrats are pushing for, but said this bill isn't the time.

“[W]e believe this crisis should not be used as an opportunity to try to pass legislation that is poorly tailored to the situation and will not be signed into law," Chamber executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley wrote in a letter. "In particular, we recognize the need to address the larger issues related to paid sick leave.

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"This emergency bill should not create a federal, one-size-fits-all, permanent leave mandate on employers," he added. "Those are longer-term issues that should be addressed in separate legislation, and we intend to be helpful in seeking a solution to that issue.”

Congress and the White House are negotiating a package to counter the economic effects of the outbreak and the administration and congressional Republicans are pushing back on mandating paid sick leave.

“We strongly encourage Democratic and Republican Leaders to negotiate a bill that can pass the Senate and be signed into law,” Bradley wrote.

He said the Chamber will continue to have more recommendations in the days and weeks ahead.

“We look forward to working with Members on both sides of the aisle in both the House and Senate to pass legislation to address the immediate needs of workers and their families, and intend to work with Congress on future legislative efforts,” he wrote.

There are at least 1,320 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 38 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.