White House and Congress clash over liability protections for businesses as firms cautiously weigh virus reopening plans (WaPo)

McConnell says liability protections for businesses are a requirement; Pelosi and Democrats say no. And there’s no sign of compromise.

Congressional leaders are girding for a huge fight over the reentry of millions of Americans to the workplace, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisting that employers be shielded from liability if their workers contract the coronavirus. He appears to have the backing of top White House officials.

Democratic leaders have declared they will oppose such blanket protections, putting Washington’s power brokers on opposite sides of a major issue that could have sweeping implications for health care and the economy in the coming months. The battle has unleashed a frenzy of lobbying, with major industry groups, technology firms, insurers, manufacturers, labor unions, and plaintiffs lawyers all squaring off.

The clash is a sharp departure from the past six weeks, when lawmakers from both parties came together to swiftly approve nearly $3 trillion in emergency funds as Americans hunkered down during the pandemic. Now, lawmakers are warring over what the rules should be when millions of Americans return to the workplace.

With President Trump increasingly focused on pushing businesses to reopen, the Republican-led Senate is preparing to reconvene on Monday. Key GOP senators are circulating drafts of legislation to set up legal protections they say would give businesses the confidence to reopen without worrying about lawsuits…

To read the entire article from The Washington Post, click https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/05/03/congress-coronavirus-legal-liability


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