Sanders says coronavirus relief bill should include paycheck guarantee

Sanders says coronavirus relief bill should include paycheck guarantee
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Connecticut in final presidential primary of year Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris MORE (I-Vt.) said Sunday that the latest coronavirus relief bill should include guarantees that workers will continue to receive their paychecks and benefits.

The former 2020 presidential said on ABC’s “This Week” that he thought the House-passed HEROES Act was “significant,” but he wanted the Senate to “improve” with a paycheck security process that follows European countries’ examples.

The Vermont senator said such a program “says to every worker in America, 'You will continue to receive your paycheck and the other benefits which you had when you were on the job, and when this crisis is over, hopefully sooner than later, you're just going to go back to work.' ”

Sanders also called for Congress to expand health insurance coverage with Medicare instead of funding the COBRA program, which allows for employees to keep their employer-offered insurance after a job loss. 

Despite having some “disagreements” with the relief package that passed the House Friday, Sanders praised Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKamala Harris makes history — as a Westerner On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks MORE (D-Calif.) for taking steps to help the working class.

“I think Pelosi, at least, unlike the Republican leadership, said, 'You know what? We have terrible suffering in this country,” he said. “'We need to get money out to the cities and towns, to the hospitals. We need to protect working people.'”

“And I would hope that the Republicans wake up and understand the severity of the crisis that we're facing and the suffering that now exists,” he added.

The HEROES Act is a building block on the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March. The package passed Friday along party lines. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ky.) said the HEROES Act served as a Democratic “wish list” and has advocated that Congress wait and see the effects of the first four coronavirus relief packages before doling out more money.