The divide between U.S. Republicans and Democrats continues to grow as the right seek liability protection for businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Reuters, U.S. Republicans showed its support on Friday, May 1, to legislate a lawsuit immunity bill that will defend businesses from possible minor coronavirus-related issues.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, who is also a member of the said party, is looking to grant liability safeguards as well.
Democrats dismiss call for possible jeopardization of workers and COVID-19 patients
As some states in the U.S. are preparing ahead of the “new normal” guidelines and strategies for easing restrictions on retail, resto, and other industries, business groups continue to call the government to consider a lawsuit immunity bill.
Top U.S. Republicans, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of the House of Representatives, have echoed the same sentiment.
McConnell and McCarthy have also issued a joint statement concerning the matter, redoubling their demand to provide “Americans on the front lines of this battle to receive strong protection from frivolous lawsuits.”
They added: “Senate and House Republicans agree these protections will be absolutely essential to future discussions surrounding recovery legislation.”
Republicans are united → health care workers, small businesses, and others on the front lines of this fight must receive strong protections from frivolous lawsuits.
We cannot let a second pandemic of opportunistic litigation enrich trial lawyers at the expense of Main Street.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 1, 2020
White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow has also agreed to include the liability protections on Friday.
Kudlow, in his interview with Fox News, also emphasized that it is going to be a part of “future growth incentives,” which includes measures like payroll tax cuts for workers.
Unfortunately, Democrats have dismissed the calls to include the said liability protection, citing that it “may jeopardize employees as well as coronavirus patients.”
The statement has also made the divide even more apparent as both parties argue over the prospects of the new COVID-19 relief assistance. Democrats reportedly are looking to push almost US$1 trillion [AU$1.5 trillion] in federal aid to states and local government.
Senate prepares to hold regular sessions next week
The U.S. Capitol’s attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan, according to Reuters, has issued a six-page guideline to congressional offices about health and safety practices that need to be implemented before regular sessions resume.
Dr. Monahan strongly advised the use of face masks when on duty. However, Capitol Police reportedly disregarded the suggestion and will not enforce it.
They will instead ask individuals — particularly those who are not wearing face masks — to stand within six-feet distance.
Employees are also asked to monitor and measure their body temperatures every morning before they leave for work.
The Senate is likely to hold regular sessions starting next week. But no announcement has been made as to when the House of Representatives in Washington would return to regular sessions.