McConnell on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined CNBC’s “Closing Bell” to discuss the HEALS Act. See below for highlights or click here to watch the full interview.
On the HEALS Act
“What we laid out yesterday, we meaning the Senate Republican majority, is how we would deal with this phase of our overall rescue effort. Remember, we've already passed about $3 trillion of assistance that’s added to the national debt. We now have a debt the size of our economy for the first time since World War II. My view after the last bill passed, in the March/April period, we needed to push the pause button, and see how what we already passed worked out and then decide where to go from there.
“Well, we're here in July, we have advocated a trillion dollars, one-third of what the House passed a couple months ago, highly targeted toward a few things that we think are absolutely critical to get the country back on its feet. Number one, liability protection. No one should be successfully sued, unless they were grossly negligent or engaged in intentional harm, who is dealing with this brand new disease. That's doctors, hospitals, nurses, universities, public schools, everyone involved in trying to work our way through that ought not to be subject to an epidemic of lawsuits on top of it. Beyond that, the theme of our package yesterday is kids in school, jobs and health care.”
On Unemployment Insurance
“Unemployment [insurance] is extremely important. But the way the previous bill was crafted, five out of six workers are actually making more staying at home than going back to work. And remember, all of these folks are going to get another $1200 in direct payment under the HEALS Act that we announced yesterday.
“All we're saying is we don't want to make it more profitable to stay home than to go back to work. That’s not what unemployment insurance is about. We think unemployment [insurance] is extremely important at a time of high unemployment. We want to continue that at the traditional level and back the states up so they can afford to continue it for a necessarily longer period of time. But it also involves the principle of not paying your neighbor more to stay home than you're making by going back to work.”
On Liability Protections
“There is no chance of the country getting back to normal without it. No chance whatsoever. So as the Majority Leader I can tell you no bill will pass the Senate that doesn’t have the liability protection in it.
“The Democrats need to understand that for the country to get back to normal we cannot have an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of a pandemic.
“Republicans almost to a person support the liability reform and that's not about companies. It includes companies. It's about hospitals and doctors and nurses and teachers and universities and colleges and K-12. This is not just liability protection for businesses. They're included along with everyone else dealing with this brand new disease. Unless you're grossly negligent or engage in intentional misbehavior, you'll be covered. And it will be in a bill that passes the Senate.”
Related Issues: COVID-19