McConnell: Every Senator Will Vote Today to Help Working Families or Give Them Nothing
‘Congress has spent months talking -- talking -- about whether to give the American people more relief as they continue grappling with this pandemic. Today, we are going to vote.’
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:
“Congress has spent months talking -- talking -- about whether to give the American people more relief as they continue grappling with this pandemic.
“Today, we are going to vote. Every Senator will be counted. Should we move forward with a floor process to deliver hundreds of billions of dollars more for kids, jobs, and healthcare? Should we at least vote to move forward and have this debate out in the open? Or do our Democratic colleagues prefer to hide behind closed doors and refuse to help families before the election?
“We’ll find out in a couple hours.
“Republicans have tried repeatedly to build on the CARES Act and get more help out the door to American families. But Democrats have blocked us at every turn.
“They’ve invented different excuses each time.
“A few months ago, Speaker Pelosi wrote a massive, multi-trillion-dollar liberal wish list that even her own House Democrat members said would never become law.
“Quote: ‘the HEROES Act went too far. Quote: ‘a political wish list.’ These are House Democrats talking.
“But in July, when Senate Republicans put forward a serious offer, Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader said they would not even talk unless we started with that unserious bill. No help for families unless they got to pass the absurd bill their own Democratic members had ridiculed.
“So in August, Republicans tried something else.
“We proposed breaking off some of the most urgent, most bipartisan policies and agreeing wherever we could. Unemployment insurance. The Paycheck Protection Program.
“But Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader blocked that too. They said they didn’t want to do anything ‘piecemeal.’”
“And yet, just a few weeks later, Speaker Pelosi completely contradicted herself. She rushed back to Washington to pass a totally piecemeal bill that only helped the Postal Service and did nothing for working families.
“Contradiction after contradiction. Excuse after excuse.
“While working families have suffered, and waited, and wondered whether Washington Democrats really care more about hurting President Trump than helping them through this crisis.
“My Democratic colleagues should stand up and tell the American people which elements of our multi-hundred-billion-dollar proposal they actually oppose.
“Today, we are going to vote to extend the additional federal unemployment insurance. Will Democrats proudly vote against that?
“Thanks to Senator Collins and Chairman Rubio, we are going to vote on a whole second round of the PPP for hard-hit businesses. Will Democrats vote against that?
“Thanks to colleagues like Senators Ernst, Daines, Gardner, and Sullivan, we will be voting on new support for small businesses like farms and fisheries.
“Thanks to Senator Cornyn, we’ll be voting on common sense legal protections that universities and nonprofits have been asking for.
“Who are Democrats excited to vote against -- the farmers, or the university presidents?
“Thanks to Chairman Alexander and Senator Blunt, we’re going to vote on an incredibly robust package for education and healthcare, to get kids back in school safely and then defeat this virus through science.
“We’ll be voting on $105 billion for education, more than House Democrats put in their bill, billions for testing and tracing, and even more support for vaccines. And thanks to a number of our colleagues including Senators Ernst and Loeffler, there is new support for childcare, plus other arrangements like homeschooling thanks to Senator Cruz.
“Are Democrats really going to refuse to fund K-12 schools and childcare in a pandemic because they’re afraid Republicans might get some credit? They’re going to vote against finding and distributing vaccines because they are afraid the breakthrough that our nation is praying for might possibly help President Trump?
“These are the policies that every one of us will be voting on in a couple hours. These and many more.
“Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader can keep up the frantic political spin. They can keep trying to make this an abstract argument over leverage, or the infinite set of things that aren’t in this bill, or whether the White House Chief of Staff has been polite to them, or whatever new excuse they’ll settle on today.
“But none of that is what we vote on. We vote on policy.
“Today every Senator will either say they want to send families the relief we can agree to, or they want to send families nothing.
“Reporters asked the Democratic Leader yesterday if his stonewalling was making the perfect the enemy of the good.
“Our colleague replied, no, quote, ‘Republicans are the enemy of the good.’
“Republicans are the enemy.” That’s what he said.
“We’ve all heard the saying that a “gaffe” is when a politician accidentally says what he really thinks.
“Well, the Democratic Leader just told us all how poisonous his thinking has become.
“The Americans we represent, however they vote, know that Republicans aren’t our enemies and Democrats aren’t our enemies.
“The coronavirus is the enemy.
“My home state just passed a sad milestone yesterday. More than 1,000 Kentuckians have now lost their lives to COVID-19. These families I represent are not burying their loved ones because Republicans or Democrats are the enemy. They are burying their loved ones because of this virus.
“That’s what we are fighting. That’s what families are dealing with.
“We are not each other’s enemies. We are all in this together.
“Today, every Senator is going to vote.
“Senators who share the Democratic Leader’s toxic attitude, who think the real enemy are their political opponents, may follow his lead and vote “no.” They can tell American families they care more about politics than helping them.
“But Senators who want to move forward will vote “yes.” They’ll vote to advance this process so we can shape it into a bipartisan product and make a law for the American people.
“That’s what working families need. They need us to act. They need us to legislate.
“Today, they’ll see exactly who has their backs.”
Related Issues: Health Care, COVID-19, Education, Senate Democrats, Jobs