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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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