Schumer Floor Remarks Calling On Leader McConnell To Stop Wasting The Senate’s Time With Another Inadequate, Partisan COVID Proposal, And Instead Sit Down With Democrats To Begin A True, Bipartisan Effort That Meets The Needs Of The Country Struggling Through The Pandemic

December 2, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to pass a bipartisan COVID response bill that meets the needs of the American people and called on Leader McConnell to sit down with Democrats to work in the best interest of the country. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Regarding another COVID bill, we seem to be caught in a familiar pattern. We all know that successfully passing legislation through Congress means that a bill must get through the Democratic House and get Democratic votes in the Senate.

Passing a law takes a measure of bipartisanship and compromise.

That’s why Speaker Pelosi and I sent the Republican Leader a new offer on a COVID bill—it was an effort to jumpstart serious negotiations.

But yesterday, Leader McConnell announced that rather than respond to our offer, or the bipartisan offer of the so-called Gang of 8, he will pursue another partisan proposal before the end of the year. He said he was going to talk to the Republican Leader in the House, the Republican president, and that’s it—not a word with Democrats.

From early reports in the press, the latest Republican offer will be even more insufficient than the previous two attempts—so insufficient, that according to one press report, a Republican Senator said it was “offensive”—his words—to struggling Americans for the Republican majority to focus on another messaging bill.

Apparently, the latest Republican proposal will not include another dime of unemployment assistance, because, according to the Republican Whip, it was likely something the President wouldn’t sign.

Let’s be clear: the latest Republican offer on COVID will include immunity for corporations who put their workers at risk for COVID, but not a dime for workers who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

The Republican Leader should not waste the Senate’s time on another inadequate, partisan proposal, and instead should sit down with Democrats to begin a true, bipartisan effort to quickly meet the needs of the country.