Schumer Floor Remarks Providing An Update On Emergency COVID Relief Legislation

December 16, 2020

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

As we rapidly approach the end of the session, Senators are working in earnest to find a bipartisan government funding bill as well as an emergency federal relief package.

Over the past several weeks, the bipartisan Gang of Eight came together to provide a framework for an agreement on emergency COVID relief. That framework has been the basis of discussions between the four congressional leaders: Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and myself. Secretary Mnuchin has been in our talks as well representing the President.

Yesterday, we had two very long and very productive meetings. Our final discussion stretched late into the evening.

And as we race the clock to reach a final accord before the end of the year, we are close to an agreement. It’s not a done deal yet, but we are very close.

Now, for Democrats, this has always been about getting the American people the relief they need at a time of an acute, national crisis, of an emergency to so many Americans.

This has been about delivering a lifeline to Americans who were laid off through no fault of their own; families struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table; small businesses hanging on for dear life.

This has been about saving our schools, our health care system, and delivering the resources to produce and distribute a vaccine that should finally, finally, help our country turn the corner and defeat this evil disease.

We are on the precipice of achieving these goals. We Democrats would have liked to go considerably further, but this won’t be the last time Congress speaks on COVID relief. Right now, we must address this emergency over the short term.

But make no mistake: we will work in the future to provide additional relief as the country requires. But we need to provide a platform to build on. We need to address this emergency right now.

At the end of one of the most difficult years in recent American history, a vaccine has given us all a reason for hope. Let’s give the country another reason.

The finish line is in sight. Everyone wants to get this done. Let’s push through the few final meters and deliver the outcome that the American people very much need.