After celebrating their retention of the House of Representatives and winning of the U.S. Senate and White House, Democrats are beginning to focus on campaign promises, including labor-friendly initiatives.
United Auto Workers Legislative Representative Desiree Hoffman explained what form of COVID-19 relief is coming and what Congress is doing to pass the PRO Act on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
COVID-19 relief for working people
Hoffman said she and the UAW are hopeful that more COVID-19 related relief is on the way.
She cited President Biden’s plan outlining the priorities. The plan includes increased COVID-19 testing and funding for vaccination centers, $350 billion in funding for state and local governments, 100 percent COBRA subsidies, expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies, Medicaid expansion, stimulus checks and an increase in federal unemployment insurance.
Although Republicans have opposed this plan and instead offered a barebones version of the plan, Hoffman is confident President Biden will be able to get much of his plan done.
Progress of the PRO Act
The PRO Act has been talked about as the most sweeping labor law reform in decades. It was ignored by Republicans in the previous Congress and was not brought to a vote. Hoffman is confident it will pass through both chambers of the new Congress.
She said the labor community is unified on the PRO Act and what it entails. But while the House of Representatives, Senate and White House are controlled by Democrats, the UAW is still working to educate lawmakers and gain additional sponsors of the bill.
Finally, she explained the process Democrats are choosing to take on the PRO Act. They are choosing to go through the regular process, which requires all Democrats and 10 Republicans to sponsor the bill in the current Congressional makeup.
Although Congress is extremely divided, she believes they can educate lawmakers to a point where they will support the legislation.