‘This isn’t a pandemic rescue package. It’s a parade of left-wing pet projects that they are ramming through during a pandemic… We could have worked together to do something smart to help finish this fight as fast as possible. Democrats decided to do something else.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding COVID-19 recovery:
“Today, or tonight, or tomorrow, Democrats say they will break the bipartisan streak that has defined the pandemic response until now. They are dead-set on ramming through an ideological spending spree packed with non-COVID-related policies.
“This is just what a leading House Democrat admitted they would do, back at the start of this crisis: Exploit the pandemic as, quote, ‘a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.’ They’ve never bothered to hide the ball.
“That’s how you get a 628-page bill that costs nearly two trillion dollars, but only 9% addresses the fight against the virus itself. Only 1% — one percent! — for the life-saving vaccinations that are ending this nightmare as we speak.
“That’s how you craft a bill that does nothing to immediately get kids back in classrooms; in fact, that only spends 5% of its K-12 school money this fiscal year.
“This isn’t a pandemic rescue package. It’s a parade of left-wing pet projects that they are ramming through during a pandemic.
“There’s a costly Obamacare bailout that will disproportionately benefit wealthier people…
“Payments to farmers and ranchers based solely on the demographics of the recipient, without any regard for actual need…
“A massive cash bailout for mismanaged state and local governments, multiple times the size of COVID needs…
“Instead of pushing back on the anti-science bullying from Big Labor that’s locking kids out of classrooms, they buy into it.
“They want to create generous new benefits for parents who are dealing with school closures, but only if they’re federal employees. All the parents without government jobs — no such luck.
“There are provisions to let abortion providers raid the small business rescue funds that were meant for Main Street businesses…
“To pay people a bonus not to go back to work when we’ll be trying to rebuild our economy…
“There’s an effort to create a brand-new, sprawling cash welfare program — not the one-time checks, but constant payments — that ignore the pro-work lessons of bipartisan welfare reform and which the White House has already stated they want to make permanent.
“The unrelated liberal policies are endless. It’s like they’ve forgotten we have a pandemic to fight.
“Larry Summers, a top economist in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations, says this plan piles way more debt on our kids and grandkids than we need to spend right now.
“Jason Furman, who chaired President Obama’s CEA, has said the state and local bailouts are overkill.
“These are liberal economists.
“By one analysis, the Democrats’ extra cash bonus for laid-off workers who stay home will result in more than 60% of workers earning more money by staying home than they’d earn from returning to work.
“This isn’t state unemployment insurance, it’s borrowing from our kids and grandkids to pay yet an additional cash bonus for not working.
“This would extend deep into 2021, when we anticipate serious job growth.
“Just this morning we had a jobs report that shattered expectations, nearly doubling the job growth experts had expected to see.
“Here’s what the Washington Post says about this mess: ‘For policy experts and even members of Biden’s own party, the improving picture is raising questions about whether the stimulus bill is mismatched to the needs of the current moment.’
“It’s mismatched, all right. Because it was never designed to meet Americans’ needs.
“The goal was to “restructure things to fit” their “vision.”
“That’s why there was no bipartisan process after a year of completely bipartisan COVID bills that we worked on together.
“That’s why the Senate Republicans who went to the White House to propose working together were told no thanks — take it or leave it.
“This is such a poorly-targeted rush job that Democrats can’t even settle on one set of political spin.
“The White House Chief of Staff is going around town admitting that they’ve written ‘the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.’
“Meanwhile here in the Senate, Democrats are still pretending this is some down-the-middle proposal and lecturing us for not supporting it. They can’t even get their story straight.
“This Administration campaigned on ushering in a new day of unity and bipartisanship.
“But in 2020, under Republican leadership, the Senate negotiated five rescue bills totaling $4 trillion and none of them got fewer than 90 votes.
“And now, in this supposed new era of healing leadership, we’re about to watch one party ram through a partisan package on the thinnest of margins. Go figure.
“Republicans have many ideas to improve this bill. Many ideas.
“And we’re about to vote on all kinds of amendments in the hopes that some of these ideas make it into the final product.
“We’re going to try to improve this bill. The millions who elected 50 Republican Senators will have their voices heard loud and clear.
“Our country is already set for a roaring recovery. We are already on track to bounce back from the crisis.
“That’s not because of this bill. It’s because of our work last year. It’s the trend this new Democratic government inherited.
“We are going to come roaring back. And mostly not because of this bill. In fact, in some ways, in spite of this bill.
“It will be because of the bipartisan foundation we laid last year and the strength and resilience of our people. Democrats inherited a tide that was already turning.
“We could have worked together to do something smart to help finish this fight as fast as possible.
“Democrats decided to do something else.”
(H. R. 1319, H.R. 1319, HR1319, hr 1319, hr1319)