After Criticizing Federal COVID-19 Response, Romney Calls for Federally Funded Raises for Essential Workers

During an event with Georgetown University students via video chat on Tuesday night, Utah Senator Mitt Romney said, “The speed of our response looked slow compared to other people. That first phase will not stand out as a great moment in American leadership.”

Romney proposed a bill that he calls “Patriot Pay” today that essential workers “who are necessarily subject to greater risk of COVID-19” receive hourly bonuses of up to $12 in the form of a tax credit.

I’m introducing #PatriotPay because our essential workers—those putting themselves in greater risk on the frontlines of #COVID19—deserve our unwavering support. For more information on my plan to help ensure essential workers receive greater compensation→

His proposal comes a month after several Democratic senators suggested $13/hour raises for essential workers that would be retroactive from the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

During that video chat on Tuesday, Romney had said that he was, “concerned about the amount of debt that we have, I don’t think it is back breaking yet, but we certainly have to deal with it…we simply have to finally confront this.”

While Romney said explicitly, “I’m not blaming this administration,” he also criticized President Trump leaving things up to the states by saying, “It’s hard to say to all 50 governors, you guys all do your thing. I think the federal coordination has been less than my personal style.”