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U.S Senate Candidate Savage: Trump’s Executive Orders Are Dangerous Political Theater, Not a Pandemic Response; Congress Must Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday August 11, 2020

For more info: Sam Pfeifle, 207-749-0298, sam@lisaformaine.org

Today, independent Green candidate for U.S. Senate in Maine Lisa Savage released the following statement:

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to run roughshod across the United States, it’s sad to think it does not represent the greatest threat to the people who live here. No, the greatest threat is the sham of our federal government’s response to this crisis and the craven political opportunists who populate the White House and U.S. Congress.

“The Senate’s lack of action on even the flawed HEROES Act, and the resultant step into that breach by President Trump with his unconstitutional and callous executive orders, threatens many American institutions we hold dear:

  • Without further funding and legitimate leadership, the U.S. Postal Service is in imminent danger.
  • With Trump’s suspension of the Payroll Tax (FICA), and his threat to eliminate it permanently, the twin social safety nets of Social Security and Medicare may cease to exist as we know them. 
  • Trump’s unconstitutional extension of unemployment benefits at $400 a week means imminent poverty for millions of unemployed people, and bankrupt coffers in state governments around the country, including Maine. 
  • Trump’s extension of bans on eviction does nothing of the sort and will only lead to more homeless people in the United States as confusion and uncertainty reigns. 

“Perhaps most shocking is the seemingly laissez faire attitude held by my opponent, Susan Collins, purportedly one of the most powerful senators in Congress. In her statement on Trump’s executive orders, she merely ‘hopes’ Democratic leaders will negotiate further, and touts her own program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which has been allowed to expire. 

“This is unacceptable.

“The actions we must take as a nation are no mystery and I have been calling for them since the pandemic’s early days:

  • There must be assurance that the stimulus money in programs like the Paycheck Protection Program actually goes to small businesses, instead of law firms, national chains, and publicly traded companies.
  • There must be further direct payments to individual people; $2,000 per month at minimum.
  • The immigration status of individuals or their partners must not affect these payments.
  • Payments must not be subject to liens and garnishments.
  • There must be a national rent and mortgage relief fund, and a halt to all evictions indefinitely.
  • There must be increased funding for food insecurity programs. 
  • There must be increased accountability for any funds provided to corporations, including proof of worker retention, mandatory reduction in management salaries, a ban on stock buybacks, management bonuses, political contributions, and provision of safe working environments.
  • Finally, we must expand Medicare so that anyone in the United States can obtain health care whenever they need it, without fear of bankruptcy or massive expenditures. 

“Instead, the federal government has squandered nearly six months now, both failing to contain the virus and failing to protect the people of the United States from the entirely predictable economic fallout.

“When I am elected to the Senate this fall, I unfortunately have to believe that we will still be working to take the basic steps to contain this virus, as Congress and the White House will continue to fail us as they engage in political bickering and finger-pointing. My campaign offers a new politics to get past all that and to truly begin focusing on the people who need the government to help them before they find themselves beyond our help.”

Find information about Lisa Savage, her policy positions, background, and how to support her people-powered campaign at www.LisaforMaine.org.

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