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Pascrell Puts Workers First in Economic Recovery

Joins Diverse Group of Lawmakers in Call for Corporate Accountability Guardrails in Economic Relief Package

Paterson, NJ, March 21, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive layoffs and economic hardship across the United States, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) joined with 101 House colleagues in urging that any economic relief package for industries affected by the pandemic puts workers first and includes corporate accountability measures.

“We write to urge that any future legislation considered by the House to provide taxpayer assistance to large corporations put workers first and include essential corporate accountability provisions,” the lawmakers wrote.

A copy of the letter is below. For a PDF version of the letter, click here.

 

March 20, 2020

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Steny Hoyer

House Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:

 

We write to urge that any future legislation considered by the House to provide taxpayer assistance to large corporations put workers first and include essential corporate accountability provisions.

 

In 2008, the federal government provided hundreds-of-billions to Wall Street to respond to the financial crisis, awarding Wall Street a virtually no-strings-attached bailout. The results for Wall Street were tremendous – a quick return to profitability, large executive compensation packages, major stock buy-back programs, and more.

 

For working families, the results were disappointing. For years, American families struggled to return to financial stability, and many still have not. Workers lost jobs, hard-earned pensions, benefits and never fully recovered.

 

There is no doubt that our current crisis is much different than the 2008 financial crisis. Our country is headed toward a recession that will impact everyone from Wall Street’s senior executives to America’s working families.

 

We fully support your commitment to ensuring any additional emergency response legislation puts relief for working families ahead of any aid to large corporations. To the extent that any direct assistance to particular industries is considered, we seek some accountability rather than a blank check. To that end, we urge that any legislation include appropriate guardrails for those corporations accepting taxpayer funding, including:

 

  • Workers must come first. Corporations must use federal assistance to maintain their payrolls without demanding concessions on wages or benefits. Workers must be protected in the case of bankruptcy and no funds should be used for anti-union campaigns or to undermine collective bargaining efforts.  
  • Tax dollars must not be used to reward wealthy shareholders and executives. No stock buybacks, dividends, or executive bonuses until federal funds are repaid in full.
  • Cap on senior executive pay. No corporate executives should make more than 50 times the pay of their median worker.
  • Workers must have a seat at the table. Corporate recipients of public assistance must reserve at least one seat on their board for a representative elected by workers.
  • Companies must be held accountable. An oversight authority must be established to ensure corporate compliance with these conditions. The oversight board must include worker representatives. CEOs should personally certify compliance and violations of the terms should trigger criminal penalties and claw-backs of public assistance.
  • Taxpayers must have a stake in the company. Taxpayers should receive equity in return for assistance to ensure that once companies return to fiscal health, the public can benefit from its investment.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Peter A. DeFazio

Lloyd Doggett

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Jamie Raskin

Chellie Pingree

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

David N. Cicilline

Deb Haaland

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Marcy Kaptur

Grace F. Napolitano

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Alan Lowenthal

Mark Takano

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Jerrold Nadler

Anthony G. Brown

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Jan Schakowsky

Linda Sanchez

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Tim Ryan

Barbara Lee

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Earl Blumenauer

Mary Gay Scanlon

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Mark Pocan

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Debbie Dingell

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

 

Jesús G. "Chuy" García

Joaquin Castro

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Joe Neguse

Pramila Jayapal

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Tony Cardenas

Veronica Escobar

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Ted W. Lieu

Andy Levin

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Judy Chu

Ro Khanna

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rashida Tlaib

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Raúl M. Grijalva

Rosa DeLauro

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Bonnie Watson Coleman

Bobby L. Rush

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

James P. McGovern

Joe Kennedy

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Jahana Hayes

Ilhan Omar

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Betty McCollum

Alcee L. Hastings

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Gilbert R. Cisneros

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Mike Doyle

Brendan F. Boyle

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Adriano Espaillat

Brenda L. Lawrence

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

 

Joyce Beatty

Wm. Lacy Clay

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Ayanna Pressley

Emanuel Cleaver

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Val Demings

Julia Brownley

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Jared Huffman

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Peter Welch

André Carson

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Gerald E. Connolly

Daniel T. Kildee

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Haley M. Stevens

Katie Porter

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Dina Titus

Joe Courtney

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Angie Craig

Albio Sires

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Donna Shalala

Darren Soto

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

A. Donald McEachin

Marcia L. Fudge

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Danny K. Davis

Nydia M. Velázquez

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

John Garamendi

Stephen Lynch

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Paul Tonko

Eliot L. Engel

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Thomas R. Suozzi

Dwight Evans

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Donald Norcross

Norma J. Torres

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan

John Larson

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Lucille Roybal-Allard

Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Lisa Blunt Rochester

Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

John Sarbanes

Suzanne Bonamici

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Yvette D. Clarke

Ruben Gallego

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Dave Loebsack

Jimmy Gomez

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Madeleine Dean

Max Rose

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Karen Bass

Brian Higgins

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.

John Yarmuth

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

Frank Pallone, Jr.

Grace Meng

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

 

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