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Katie Porter blows up Mitch McConnell’s reason for stopping COVID-relief bill

'These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life.'

Dec 9, 2020, 11:38 am*



Kahron Spearman

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) ripped into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a scathing Twitter thread for holding up a $908 billion COVID-19 stimulus bill over a series of corporate protections, stating they show “the worst examples of disregard for human life.”

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Porter, the representative from California's 45th district, blasted the Kentucky Republican over his insistence on including corporate protections from liability in COVID-19 relief discussions.

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"When I came to Congress, I knew I had a responsibility to pull back the curtain for the American people and expose corruption in real time. So, I’m filling you in on Senator McConnell’s attempts over the last 8 days to tank a *bipartisan* COVID relief bill," Porter wrote.

"Everyone at the negotiating table — including Senate Rs — has agreed to a compromise. Except one," the congresswoman continued in her Twitter thread. "Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring it to the floor unless it wipes away all COVID-related lawsuits filed that 'allege injury or death' due to corporate negligence."

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"These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life—cases filed on behalf of nursing home patients and grocery store workers who died because the company in charge of keeping them safe prioritized cutting costs over protecting them."

"The same McConnell who said that President Trump is '100% within his rights' to pursue baseless lawsuits alleging election fraud is now refusing to pass urgently-needed relief unless it strips those same rights from the most vulnerable among us," Porter continued. "This must be exposed."

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The long-delayed negotiations for COVID-19 relief boiled down to two significant sticking points: scaling of funding for state and local governments and liability protections for businesses related to potential litigation by employees who contract COVID-19 at the workplace.

The McConnell-led Republicans insist on including the protections in both the $908 billion bipartisan proposal backed by Democrats and a newer $916 billion bid pushed Tuesday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on behalf of the Trump administration. The Trump proposal includes cuts to weekly jobless benefits for a one-off $600 stimulus check to the unemployed, which Democrats have already deemed "unacceptable."

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*First Published: Dec 9, 2020, 11:34 am