October 2, 2022

Nancy Pelosi says ‘no’ to liability protections for employers in new coronavirus rescue bill

Congress is gearing up for another coronavirus stimulus package, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is already throwing a fit about the GOP proposal — even though she says that passing further legislation is an “emergency.”

One stipulation of the forthcoming GOP plan is liability protections for employers of “essential workers,” but Pelosi ended any possibility of negotiations on the issue, arguing that liability protections are “unfair.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has described the inclusion of liability protections for business owners as a “red line” for Congressional negotiations.”If there’s any red line, it’s on litigation,” he said in May. “If there is another bill that passes in the Senate, it will include the liability protections.”

Nancy Pelosi will not even consider allowing the bill to contain such protections for business owners –– protections that are essential to allowing the economy to reopen and protecting employers from unreasonable litigation from employees.’

“One of the key themes … is the importance of limiting liability for those employers who act in good faith to comply with public health guidelines in protecting customers, employees, and vendors,” wrote Michele Nellenbach and Dane Stangler of the Federalist in July. “Employers of all types deserve clear guidance and protection from some degree of liability should exposure to COVID-19 occur as they seek a new normal in operations.”

“What we will not support is the following:” Pelosi explained. “What they’re saying to essential workers, you have to go to work because you’re essential. We’ve placed no responsibility on your employer to make that workplace safe and if you get sick, you have no recourse because we’ve given your employer protection. And if you don’t go to work because you’re afraid of being sick and you have that job opportunity, you don’t get unemployment insurance”

After making it clear that she’s not open to negotiation on the issue, Pelosi immediately pivoted to attacking President Trump in a rambling monologue, saying that the proposed liability protections are “so unfair,” adding “let’s just get to the heart of it.at the point of all of this is, this president — I have a new name for him, Mr. Make Matters Worse. He has made matters worse from the start.”

Pelosi and her Democrat colleagues have made it very clear that they will not negotiate with Republicans to secure a bipartisan deal, but will still place the blame on Republicans when protections from the Phase 3 bill elapse.

“This is an emergency,” Pelosi said in her speech making it clear that Democrats would slow-walk all GOP-led legislative negotiations. “Maybe they don’t understand. I don’t know what they have against working families in America.”

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