Blue Dogs Back Bipartisan Measures to Protect Jobs Amid the Economic Crisis

Aug 20, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition announced its endorsement of a set of bipartisan legislation that aims to keep American workers on payroll and to protect their jobs. Specifically, the Blue Dogs backed H.R. 7481, Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act, and H.R. 6776, Jumpstarting Our Businesses’ Success Credit (JOBS Credit) Act of 2020. The members of the Blue Dog Coalition are urging leaders of both parties to come together to reach a bipartisan deal on the next round of pandemic response funding and to include these measures in the negotiated legislation in addition to stronger spending oversight measures.


Introduced by Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, the RESTART Act would provide America’s small businesses with the flexible, targeted relief they need to survive a prolonged economic downturn and provide jobs. The RESTART program created by the legislation would build on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to target small businesses hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis, offering loans for periods up to one year. Those loans would be partially forgivable for a broad array of expenses, including payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utility payments, PPE, and payments to independent contractors.


The JOBS Credit Act, which was introduced by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), the Co-Chair for Administration of the Blue Dog Coalition, would make a number of targeted improvements to enhance the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) that Congress and the President recently enacted in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and better fulfill the ERTC’s goal of keeping workers connected to their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. The ERTC incentivizes businesses of all sizes to retain their employees in active or furloughed status, rather than laying them off, so they continue to receive a paycheck, employer-sponsored health insurance, and other benefits. It is estimated that ERTC expansion will help 6.1 million businesses to keep 60 million workers tethered to their jobs.


“We’re committed to supporting Main Street through this crisis because that's the best way to spur the economic recovery and protect jobs,” said Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. “We need to work across the aisle to provide the hardest-hit businesses with more flexible, long-term relief by passing the bipartisan RESTART Act. I join the Blue Dogs and millions of Americans in calling for a return to negotiations on a COVID-19 package and the inclusion of these necessary business relief proposals in any legislation to address the crisis.”


“I’m grateful to my fellow Blue Dogs for endorsing my bill to expand the pro-worker, pro-business employee retention tax credit,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Administration. “Because it enjoys bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, it’s likely ERTC expansion will be included in any broader bill that Congress enacts to combat COVID. Now, both sides need to negotiate a principled compromise so we can pass this broader bill. There is no time to waste. Americans are hurting and need help.”


“American workers, families, and businesses are struggling right now,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Whip and Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Economic Growth. “People across the country are doing everything they can to fight back against the ongoing pandemic and Congress cannot continue to sit on its hands. As the Blue Dog Coalition endorses these important measures to help workers and businesses alike, I am hopeful that members from both parties will work together to deliver comprehensive relief for our communities”


"It’s critical that we continue to protect workers' health care, help our small businesses, and provide them with the resources they need to get through these challenging times — especially in North Jersey where we were in the eye of the COVID-19 storm,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), the Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Economic Growth. “The JOBS Credit Act and the RESTART Act are two common-sense bipartisan bills that will allow millions of workers to keep their jobs and health care benefits during this economic downturn, and get targeted relief to small businesses nationwide. This is exactly the kind of across-the-aisle collaboration we need to help the American workforce, our small businesses, and our families through this.”