GOP senators block Democrats’ emergency paid sick leave bill as coronavirus outbreak worsens

In an effort to bolster the response to the growing coronavirus outbreak, Democrats hoped to pass an emergency paid sick leave bill, but were blocked by Senate Republicans this Wednesday, HuffPost reports.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) tried to expedite the bill to the Senate floor, but was blocked by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

“For many of our workers ― restaurant workers, truck drivers, service industry workers ― they may not have an option to take a day off without losing their pay or losing their job,” Murray said. “That’s not a choice we should be asking anyone to make in the United States in the 21st century.”

According to Alexander, a paid sick leave is a “good idea' but it should be paid for by the federal government.

“Employees are struggling, our employers are struggling, and it’s not a cure for the coronavirus to put a big new expensive federal mandate on employers who are struggling in the middle of this matter,” Alexander said.