McConnell Highlights Senate’s Critical Work for the American People

‘Here in the Senate, we came back in session over a month ago. We’ve taken smart precautions, but we have not let the people’s business come to a halt.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the week’s business:

“Three months ago, the first states were implementing stay-at-home orders as the new coronavirus spread through our country.

“Three months ago, George Floyd was still alive and the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky had just begun to reignite a national discussion around policing.

“Our country has confronted what feels like several years’ worth of upheaval in just three months.

“Small businesses and childcare centers are trying to figure out how to safely reopen. Schools and universities are trying to plan for the fall. Healthcare professionals and essential workers are continuing to man their posts, help strangers, and keep our country going.

“Peaceful protesters have continued to express outrage over the killings of black Americans, and our nation’s police officers – overwhelmingly good, decent, and brave people who put everything on the line for their neighbors – have continued to faithfully serve under trying circumstances.

“These are the kinds of challenges our nation should meet with unity, like when the Senate wrote and passed the historic CARES Act unanimously in March.

“But unfortunately, in some corners of the country, our nation’s strategic reserve of sanity appears to have run a little low.

“We have seen peaceful protests hijacked by violent riots. Apparently rioters thought the best way to argue against a strong police force was to terrorize innocent people and small businesses for nights on end.

“Then, completing the absurd cycle, we’ve seen the far left hold up these riots as proof we should defund or disband the police in this country — as though the vast majority of Americans would not interpret the anarchy in precisely the opposite way.

“As I noted last week, we have seen some big-city mayors use health restrictions to construct constitutionally-dubious double standards, where massive protests are blessed and encouraged but small, careful church services are still banned.

“In Seattle, Washington, we have seen the local officials cede several square blocks to a rag-tag band of demonstrators that call themselves the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” Fear of the far left has literally caused local officials to let a chunk of their own city devolve into a no-go zone for their own cops.

“Naturally, left-leaning media outlets have been quick to shower praise on this lunacy and slow to amplify reports of arson and other unchecked crimes. One story from the New York Times praised the, quote, “liberated streets.”

“Liberated” — as if spray-painting a boarded-up business were the equivalent of the Normandy landings.

“Now amid all this, our Democratic counterparts in the House of Representatives have mostly continued to keep their doors locked and their lights off.

“But here in the Senate, we came back in session over a month ago. We’ve taken smart precautions, but we have not let the people’s business come to a halt.

“Our committees have been overseeing the CARES Act and working on other essential business, like the National Defense Authorization Act. Our colleagues are considering what else might help the country re-open, like strong legal protections for schools, colleges, employers, and healthcare workers.

“Under the leadership of Senator Tim Scott, our conference is developing a serious proposal to reform law enforcement in smart ways without lashing out needlessly and counterproductively at the first responders who are a credit to their communities.”

Related Issues: COVID-19, Jobs, Small Business, Law Enforcement, Economy