Gillibrand: 'Total BS' to argue Democrats' $1 trillion stimulus for states would benefit unions
"We need to fund government so that we can continue to grow the economy and make sure that the frontline workers have resources," said N.Y. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in an interview.
New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said it is "total BS" to suggest that $1 trillion in federal coronavirus stimulus funding for states and localities would benefit public sector unions.
The $1 trillion in aid was passed in the House as part of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act. Public sector unions such as the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have been pushing for the aid.
Some Republicans have argued that any state and local aid should not fund pensions for state employees.
"Democrats think they smell an opening they have wanted for years, to make Uncle Sam bail out decades of mismanagement and broken policies in places like New York, New Jersey and California," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said.
Gillibrand disagrees that the federal stimulus is designed to help unions.
"It's total BS. It has nothing to do with unions. What it does is fund government. Literally one fifth of the GDP is the money that governments put into economies," Gillibrand told Just the News after speaking at a press conference Tuesday with comedian Jon Stewart about a new bill to help war veterans. "We need to fund government so that we can continue to grow the economy and make sure that the frontline workers have resources. If you have to lay off another million frontline workers, you're not going to have the workers you need to meet the needs of the pandemic."
Gillibrand and other Senate Democrats recently blocked a $500 billion Republican stimulus package from advancing in the Senate.
"It had no money for cities and states, and we have an obligation to our states and our cities to fund the first responders, to fund the response to COVID," she said. "We also had no money in there for food stamps, for hunger, not enough money for homelessness, things that really are needed in New York, it just was inadequate. It didn't have enough, and it cared more about getting rid of liability for corporations than helping the people of my state."