McConnell on Coronavirus Relief: ‘The House’s Bill Must Only Be The Beginning’

‘To all Americans, but most especially to these hardworking people whose efforts are going to get our country through this challenge, I have one message: The Senate stands with you.’

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

“The new coronavirus that has spread from China throughout the world is challenging our nation in new ways.

“Across our country, daily routines are being disrupted.

“Families are grappling with school closings and changes to childcare.

“Major American companies and institutions are modifying how they do business.

“And a growing number of Main Street small businesses face the possibility of significant disruptions as more and more communities begin to “hunker down,” as Dr. Fauci put it, on the advice of public health experts and local leaders.

“As an aside, I’ve noticed that a lot of the discussion in the media has focused on individuals who may be temporarily transitioning from office work to working from home.

“So I want to especially acknowledge the many other hardworking Americans for whom “tele-work” is not an option.

“Now more than ever, we are reminded who really keeps this country running:

“The hardworking men and women who grow things. Who make things.

“Who drive trucks and move goods around the country.

“Who mine coal or otherwise produce domestic energy and literally power our communities.

“Who run the stores and shops we rely on.

“Who serve our communities as police and first responders.

“And of course, especially, the dedicated front-line healthcare professionals who work tirelessly to heal and protect all the rest of us.

“To all Americans, but most especially to these hardworking people whose efforts are going to get our country through this challenge, I have one message:

“The Senate stands with you.

“We stand with American workers and families. We stand with American businesses.

“And we stand with the public health experts and the heroic front-line medical professionals whom our nation seems poised to lean on as heavily as we have at any point in recent memory.

“The Senate is committed to meeting these uncertain times with bold and bipartisan solutions.

“That’s what we did a little more than a week ago, when the Senate passed billions of dollars in emergency funding for health and small businesses with an overwhelming bipartisan vote and put it on President Trump’s desk.

“That’s what we’re going to keep doing this week, particularly if the House of Representatives can complete its work and transmit on a finished product of its relief proposal.

“And it’s what we’re going to keep doing in the days and weeks ahead.

“With respect to the House-passed legislation, I understand the House chose to proceed with their planned one-week recess despite not having finished processing their bill. As of this afternoon, we are still waiting for the House to reach a decision on possible technical corrections and submit a final product to the Senate.

“We cannot consider the legislation until they do. But I know that Senators on both sides have spent the last several days carefully studying the House proposal. And I know that all of us are eager to act quickly to support American workers, families, and small businesses.

“Even more broadly, Senate Republicans are absolutely convinced that the House’s bill can only be the beginning of Congress’s efforts to secure our economy and support American families.

“This is a unique challenge. Unlike in other tough circumstances, our short-term goal is not simply to bring economic activity right back to normal, starting tomorrow.

“Instead, our task is to secure the historically strong foundation of our nation’s economy and support Americans during this period when public health may require that some normal activities be scaled back.

“I’ve spoken with countless colleagues and committee chairmen over the last several days. We agree there are three major areas where the Senate must continue to develop bold and bipartisan action:

“Number 1: We will need to take further steps to assist individual Americans and families with financial challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

“Number 2: We will need further significant actions to secure our nation’s economy, particularly Main Street small businesses, and safeguard our historically strong economic foundation through this period.

“And number 3: We will need further steps to ready our healthcare system and support our nation’s medical professionals.

“This Senate majority is already working toward next steps on all three fronts.

“I hope further bold action can be just as bipartisan and collaborative as the process by which we passed the first set of additional funds.

“We must work with each other, in the bipartisan spirit this moment demands, and with the Administration and the House, to deliver results for our nation.”

Related Issues: Economy, Health Care