Schumer Floor Remarks Providing An Update On Emergency COVID Relief Legislation

December 17, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding emergency COVID relief legislation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

We continue to move closer to a final agreement on an omnibus appropriations bill and a package of emergency federal aid to provide the country relief from the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, House and Senate leadership worked well into the night. We resumed first thing this morning. While many, if not all, of the difficult topics are behind us, a few final issues must be hammered out.

We are very close to an agreement, but the details really matter. When it comes to unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, aid to small businesses and so much else: we have a responsibility to get this right. People’s lives depend upon it.

I will note that, had the Republican Majority joined in negotiations any time in the last six months as we had requested, we would not be in the unfortunate position of negotiating against a government funding deadline.

Leader McConnell kept calling for a pause, and here we are.

And I also note that we would have a much larger bill that met crucial needs of so many Americans, if Republicans had not been so intransigent.

But we are all eager to conclude our work and deliver the relief that the American people have been waiting for.

Everyone wants to see this get done, and soon.

It is not an easy feat or process. We are talking about providing relief to a country hurting from coast to coast.

A country with tens of millions of unemployed workers, and more slipping into poverty every day.

A country with businesses of all sizes and varieties struggling in different ways, and more in danger of closing for good every week.

A country that, just yesterday, suffered the worst day of the entire pandemic: the most cases, the most hospitalizations, the most deaths, more than 3,600 American lives.

Already, we know that the size of this emergency relief bill would be the largest stimulus in the history of our country if not for the other COVID-relief bill, the CARES Bill, which I negotiated with Secretary Mnuchin and we passed earlier this year.

Let me say again: we are putting the final touches on what would be the largest stimulus in the history of the country with the exception of the CARES Act. Larger even than ARRA, the stimulus bill Congress passed in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009.

None of the remaining hurdles cannot be overcome. Everyone is committed to achieving a result. And we will not leave until we get the job done.