“Let’s Make Today the Day We Join Together, Put Differences Aside, and Finally Get it Done”
‘For months Senate Republicans have been calling for another targeted package to reopen the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program, extend federal unemployment benefits, fund K-12 schools, fund vaccine distribution, and get a lot more help onto the front lines as fast as possible. I am relieved that we appear to be just hours away from legislation that will do exactly that.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding COVID-19 relief:
“Our bipartisan, bicameral discussions on another major pandemic rescue package continued all night and all morning.
“We are winnowing down the remaining differences. I believe I can speak for all sides when I say that I hope and expect to have a final agreement nailed down in a matter of hours.
“Yesterday evening, our Democratic colleagues agreed to important language authored by the junior Senator for Pennsylvania, Senator Toomey.
“Back in March, in the CARES Act, Congress funded several new emergency lending facilities, to be operated by the Federal Reserve.
“Their purpose was simple: To backstop the basic foundations of our economy and prevent any kind of sweeping financial paralysis.
“Our actions worked. The other historic relief that Congress passed, combined with the existence of these lending facilities, staved off any systemic collapse.
“American workers and families still need much more help, but a total financial meltdown never materialized.
“These new emergency lending facilities were always intended to sunset at the end of this year.
“Senator Toomey and our Democratic colleagues have landed on compromise language that ensures this will happen; redirects the dormant money in these accounts toward the urgent needs of working Americans; and ensures that these expiring programs cannot be simply restarted or cloned without another authorization from Congress.
“All while preserving both the independence of the Federal Reserve and the proper authority of Congress.
“Yet another example of the good-faith bipartisan collaboration that has defined our discussions this week.
“At this point, we are down to the last few differences that stand between struggling Americans and the major rescue package they need and deserve.
“These days and nights of negotiations have been encouraging. But our citizens need this waiting game to be over.
“Yesterday alone, another 3,388 of my fellow Kentuckians tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The virus continues to spread throughout our country. Thousands of Americans are being robbed of their lives on a daily basis.
“And while the resilience of the American people have brought along our economic recovery faster than expected, it will remain both insufficient and tenuous until the vaccines that will end this fight have been distributed across the nation.
“For months Senate Republicans have been calling for another targeted package to reopen the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program, extend federal unemployment benefits, fund K-12 schools, fund vaccine distribution, and get a lot more help onto the front lines as fast as possible.
“I am relieved that we appear to be just hours away from legislation that will do exactly that.
“When we get this done, Congress will not deserve any special praise. Not with this relief having waited until late December; and not with some of our Democratic colleagues openly saying the reason they finally changed their tune was that they got a President-elect of their own party.
“When we finalize this measure and pass it, Congress will only have done our job. We will have finally done our duty in getting more relief to those who need it most.
“Let’s make today the day we join together, put differences aside, and finally get it done.”
Related Issues: Education, Health Care, Economy, COVID-19, Small Business