May 21, 2020

Warren Joins Warner, Sanders, Jones and Blumenthal to Introduce Paycheck Security Act to Keep Millions of Workers on Payrolls During Pandemic

Bill Text (PDF) | Bill Summary (PDF)


Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senators Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to introduce the Paycheck Security Act to cover the wages and benefits of employees of affected businesses and non-profits until the economic and public health crisis is resolved. 


Applauded by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) upon its introduction, the Paycheck Security Act would act to avert mass layoffs, stem catastrophic unemployment levels, and prevent irreversible business losses, prevent millions from losing their health insurance, and provide resources for firms to rehire laid-off and furloughed workers and restore their health care benefits.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly 39 million workers have filed for unemployment. More than 20 million people lost their jobs in the month of April alone, the most in a single month on record. An estimated 27 million people have already lost their employer-provided health insurance coverage, and millions more could lose coverage before this crisis is over. The unemployment rate is likely close to 20 percent, and could exceed the depths of the Great Depression in the coming months.


The pandemic has also devastated small businesses and sole proprietors. A recent study found that more than 100,000 small businesses have already closed permanently as a result of the health and economic crisis. Another recent survey showed that 52 percent of small businesses expect to go out of business within the next six months. Allowing millions of small and independent businesses to fail will have a devastating impact on the economy and will make the road to recovery longer and harder.


Other countries have avoided the massive job losses seen in the United States primarily because their governments have adopted programs to keep workers on payroll and attached to their employers until this crisis is over. In addition to preventing mass layoffs, the Paycheck Security Act provides small and mid-sized businesses with the funds they need to pay for rent, mortgages, utilities and other operating costs until they can reopen safely and sales begin to recover.