'This is the proposal that our Senate Democratic colleagues keep thundering that we should take up and pass here: Something so unserious that it had House Democrats themselves rolling their eyes.'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding COVID-19:
"Yesterday, I discussed how the Senate's serious, fact-based approach to the coronavirus crisis has cut a sharp contrast with House Democrats' political theater.
"Back in March, as the economic fallout from this crisis was just beginning, it fell to the Senate to write, negotiate, and pass the CARES Act.
"With the House absent from Washington, Senate Republicans turned a blank sheet of paper into an outline for the largest rescue package in American history.
"We negotiated with our Democratic colleagues. And we made a law.
"House Democrats tried to insert unrelated wish-list items at the 11th hour — things like tax credits for solar panels. But the Republican Senate stood strong.
"And because we did, for three months now, the unanimous, bipartisan CARES Act has been the cornerstone of the federal government's response to this crisis.
"Doctors, nurses, and hospitals have received historic federal funding to supplement their efforts. Households received direct checks. Tens of millions of Americans have kept getting paychecks and not pink slips because of our small-business-saving Paycheck Protection Program.
"These are the historic programs that the Senate has spent weeks overseeing and adjusting where necessary.
"Now, a few weeks ago, House Democrats jetted into town for a day or two. Just long enough to make another unserious contribution. To again use this crisis for partisan wish-listing.
"Don't take my word for it. Even the media panned this thing.
"NPR called it, quote, "a long wish list for Democrats."
"Another journalist wrote "neither this bill nor anything resembling it will ever become law."
"And listen to this reporting – quote – "privately, several House Democrats concede their latest bill feels like little more than an effort to appease the most liberal members of the caucus."
"This is the proposal that our Senate Democratic colleagues keep thundering that we should take up and pass here: Something so unserious that it had House Democrats themselves rolling their eyes.
"Remember, among other things, this bill would give taxpayer-funded checks to illegal immigrants.
"And it would change tax law to provide massively expensive gifts to wealthy people in high-tax blue states.
"These are their coronavirus priorities?
"This political theater is the opposite of the serious Senate approach that built the CARES Act.
"Any further recovery efforts should focus intently on three things: Kids, jobs, and healthcare.
"To step back towards normalcy, our country will need K-12 and college students to resume their schooling. We'll need to re-energize hiring to get workers their jobs back. And we'll need continued progress in the healthcare fight to get ready for the fall and winter and speed the search for a vaccine.
"One helpful policy would be strong legal protection for the schools, colleges, nonprofits, and employers that are putting their necks on the line to reopen.
"So long as institutions follow the best available guidelines, they should not have to live in fear of a second epidemic of frivolous lawsuits. The virus is worry enough.
"These are the kinds of smart solutions Washington must continue discussing as we evaluate what further steps may be necessary.
"Partisan theater and politicized wish-lists are not what our country needs."