Senator Sherrod Brown: Mitch McConnell is Trump's "lapdog"
In an interview on my show on Friday, the Ohio progressive Democratic senator discussed coronavirus, the GOP response and a "premium pay bonus" for essential workers.
It was great to once again interview Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, a progressive champion, who took on President Donald Trump and the GOP for the incompetent, dangerous response to coronavirus as well as attempts to craft the recent $2 trillion relief bill as a corporate giveaway. In the interview, on my show on SiriusXM Progress on Friday, he also discussed a “premium pay bonus” for essential workers risking their health and safety during the crisis.
“There will likely be a fourth coronavirus response package,” he said. “In spite of the unevenness and late start of the president, Congress has to do more.”
“I see people who are delivery people,” he continued. “Every day, I speak with people who represent teachers or bankers or people who work in grocery stores. It’s clear that people who are at risk are not just the doctors and nurses. It’s more than that. We want to make sure in this plan there is a pandemic pay bonus [for] anyone who is considered essential in the workplace, from those who keep food on people’s tabes to those who keep people safe to those who drive city buses.”
It’s important that Brown and other Democrats are talking about these workers who are on the front lines and are keeping this country going while the rest of us are social distancing. They’re taking the big risks, in a situation that should never happened, if we had a government that was prepared.
[You can listen to the full interview On Demand on SiriusXM through Monday April 6, and just about all of SiriusXM is free until May 15 (Just go here and listen if you’re not a subscriber).]
To that point, Brown also took on Trump for his negligence and ineptitude.
“We are three months into this,” he said, “and it f the president hadn’t fired a number of his professionals in the White House whose job it is to surveil the world and look for epidemics that could evolve into pandemics, we would have known it in December. But even in January —it’s been 3 months. This country, the richest in the world, still doesn’t have enough face masks. It’s a remarkable thing. And not enough gloves and not enough gowns. And certainly not enough more high tech things, like ventilators and and respirators.”
Brown criticized Trump for refusing to more robustly use the Defense Production Act, which Democrats have pressured him to use to force companies to mass produce supplies, and said it was because the GOP-backed U.S. Chamber of Commerce has pressured him not to order private business regarding production, even in a national emergency.
And the senator also slammed Mitch McConnell and the GOP attempts to allow corporations to have a secret slush fund in the $2 trillion dollar stimulus bill Congress passed in recent weeks, in addition to other giveaways.
“The leadership in the Senate is coming from Senator [Chuck] Schumer [the Democratic minority leader] — McConnell in a sense is a lapdog for Trump, he does whatever Trump want — and [from] Speaker Pelosi. Those are the two people we’ve got to rely on in the federal government.”
Brown gave due credit to GOP governors like Mike DeWine of Ohio and Larry Hogan of Maryland who, like many Democratic governors, acted early in battling the pandemic. And he criticizing GOP governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis “who always do what the president wants,”and who were very late in ordering statewide stay-at-home orders.