Poll: Americans want corporations to promise no layoffs in exchange for bailouts

Poll: Americans want corporations to promise no layoffs in exchange for bailouts
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Most voters say coronavirus bailouts for American companies need to have some strings attached.

Most Americans agree: Coronavirus-related corporate bailouts need to come with some strings attached.

Washington lawmakers are currently negotiating a $1.8 trillion stimulus package to help boost the economy during the global pandemic that has brought much of the country to a standstill. One of the major sticking points of the debate on Capitol Hill: how to administer $500 billion in relief for big business and major corporations.

The proposal backed by the White House and Senate Republicans would give Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wide discretion over which companies get money and when. Democrats in Congress are saying not so fast — they want some guardrails around what companies can and cannot do with the money once checks are cut. Otherwise, they argue, what’s to stop an airline from using its bailout money to give its CEO a bonus instead of paying its workers? Or to prevent a major hotel chain from laying off workers while engaging in stock buybacks?

Progressive pollster Data for Progress asked 2,328 likely voters about eight conditions laid out by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and backed by many Democratic lawmakers for companies getting bailout money. Their findings: By and large, voters agree companies shouldn’t get money without strings attached.

Nearly three-quarters of voters say companies receiving bailout money should commit to no layoffs, while just 11 percent oppose that requirement, according to the Data for Progress polling. And it’s an area where, at least among voters, there is agreement across the political spectrum: 82 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents, and 70 percent of Republicans agree on no layoffs.

Source: Vox

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