Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced the "Stop BEZOS Act," a bill aimed at large corporations like Amazon and Walmart that are notorious for low wages.
Unveiled Wednesday by Sanders and Representative Ro Khanna of California and named for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the bill would require companies with more than 500 employees to pay 100% tax on every dollar of government assistance that their workers receive. The tax would apply to everything from Medicaid and food stamps to public housing and other aid. The bill's full name stands for the "Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies" Act.
Sanders has been a vocal critic of Amazon in recent months, pointing out on Twitter and in public appearances that Amazon's warehouse workers are forced to rely on food stamps or sleep in their cars despite Bezos's immense wealth. In addition, this week Amazon's market capitalization (the value of its stock) topped $1 trillion, making Amazon only the second company, after Apple, to reach that level.
According to CNBC, Amazon has called some of Sanders's earlier claims about its warehouses "inaccurate and misleading," and as of Wednesday afternoon a spokesperson would not comment further on the bill.
Per the Washington Post (personally owned by Bezos), a spokesman for Sanders said "the senator's office has heard from hundreds of current and former Amazon workers in recent weeks who had to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid and other government programs to cover their families' basic needs."