Eugene Scalia Is Doing His Best to Gut the Coronavirus Rescue Bill

Caroline Brehman/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA

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If William Barr is in the running for worst attorney general ever, perhaps Eugene Scalia is in the running for worst labor secretary ever:

The Labor Department is facing growing criticism over its response to the coronavirus pandemic as the agency plays a central role in ensuring that the tens of millions of workers affected by the crisis get assistance.

….In recent days, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, who has expressed concerns about unemployment insurance being too generous, has used his department’s authority over new laws enacted by Congress to limit who qualifies for joblessness assistance and to make it easier for small businesses not to pay family leave benefits. The new rules make it more difficult for gig workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers to get benefits, while making it easier for some companies to avoid paying their workers coronavirus-related sick and family leave.

….At the same time, frustrations have built among career staff at the Labor Department that the agency hasn’t ordered employers to follow safeguards, including the wearing of masks, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect workers.

Of course Scalia is slow-walking assistance to workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By God, even in a national emergency we need to teach these slackers not to depend on the federal teat when they lose their jobs.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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