Cleveland.com: If we don’t save lives now, there won’t be an economy left to save: Sherrod Brown

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Cleveland.com: If we don’t save lives now, there won’t be an economy left to save: Sherrod Brown

CLEVELAND — The most important thing we can do to support Ohio workers and sustain our economy is to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.

Some want to pit “the economy” against our efforts to fight this pandemic – but that’s a false choice. The economy is about people – it’s made up of workers doing their jobs and making their companies successful, of entrepreneurs starting and sustaining businesses, and of families supporting their communities. If we lose sight of that, we lose sight of our common humanity and the dignity of all work.

Put simply, if we don’t save lives now, there won’t be an economy left to save.

In the middle of a crisis, now is the time to come together as Ohioans and as Americans. If we all do our part, if we listen to public health experts, and if we act quickly to get resources where they are needed, we can beat this. We can save the lives of our friends and neighbors, we can help small businesses weather this storm, we can protect our front-line health care providers, and we can support workers and help them go back to work when it is safe.

The administration wasted precious time earlier this year, putting our country’s response behind where we should be. But our Ohio officials of both parties have done an excellent job, trying to make up for the administration’s lost time. I’m working with Gov. Mike DeWine and with my colleagues of both parties to get help directly to Ohio workers, and to our health care system. In the Senate, we have worked over the past month on three comprehensive aid packages.

My priority in all of these negotiations has been getting help directly to Ohioans. The most recent, and largest, bill does that.

This legislation will put up to $1,200 directly into the pockets of every single middle-class and low-income Ohioan. It represents a Marshall Plan for our hospitals that will get resources to our health care workers immediately. It expands unemployment insurance by $600 per week and ensures that all workers – including contract workers, self-employed, and part-time workers – can get the benefits they need to support themselves until it’s safe to go back to work. It gets funding to the state of Ohio and cities and counties, to help them avoid cutting jobs and services. And it places a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during this crisis, and up to a year of mortgage forbearance that allows homeowners to delay payments. No one should be thrown out of her home during this crisis.

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