Senate Democrats introduce proposal to pay businesses up to $90K per worker

Senate Democrats introduce proposal to pay businesses up to $90K per worker
© Getty Images

A group of Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal Friday for Congress's next coronavirus economic aid package that would compensate businesses for furloughed workers, up to $90,000 per employee. 

The Paycheck Security Act, written by Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Democrats offer fresh support for embattled Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE (D-Va.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief Murkowski never told White House she would oppose Tanden Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief MORE (I-Vt.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would give grants to businesses that had experienced at least a 20 percent drop in revenue to help cover employee wages and benefits for a minimum of the next six months.

“The health and economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 is unprecedented in American history," Warner said when the proposal was first announced two weeks ago. "While Congress quickly took some steps with the PPP program and expanding access to disaster relief loans, these early lifelines will not be enough on their own to prevent more job losses and alleviate the economic uncertainty."


The proposed legislation would give businesses grants that would cover "salaries and wages up to $90,000 for each furloughed or laid off employee, plus benefits, as well as up to an additional 20 percent of revenues to cover fixed operating costs such as rent, utilities, insurance policies, and maintenance."

Businesses that have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan wouldn't be eligible for the grants "unless they exhaust these other programs or use the Payroll Security Program grant to pay back their existing loans," according to a statement from Warner's office.

This week, 3.8 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits despite multiple states partially reopening their economies. Over the last six weeks, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment and projections show that the number could continue to grow, potentially breaking the 25 percent unemployment rate record that was set during the Great Depression.