Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the urgent need to pass bold and robust legislation to address the COVID crisis. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As I mentioned yesterday, the Senate will soon begin the process of considering legislation to help the country defeat COVID-19 and provide relief to those Americans who are still suffering great economic hardship.
There has been a lot of action in Washington recently. We inaugurated a new president; a new administration is getting off the ground; an impeachment trial of the former president will commence in a few weeks. But COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere, unfortunately. Americans are still losing their jobs. American businesses are still closing. Americans are still getting sick. Americans are still dying.
The needs in our country are still great, and the Congress must pursue a bold and robust course of action to defeat the disease and get our country back to normal. We must not, we must not, repeat the mistakes of 2008-2009, when Congress was too timid and constrained in its response to the global financial crisis.
The Congressional Budget Office has told us, last fall, that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken more than $17 trillion out of our economy. $17 trillion out of the economy.
The danger of undershooting our response to COVID-19 is far greater than overshooting it. So Congress must pursue a bold response to the prevailing crisis of our time.
Here in the Senate, we want that work to be bipartisan. Let me say that again: we want the next legislative response to COVID-19 to be bipartisan. We want to work with our Republican colleagues if we can, to include their ideas and input if they’ll offer them. That is our preference. But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose the necessary, robust COVID-relief, we will have to move forward without them. It is not our preference, but dealing with this crisis in a bold and sufficient way is a necessity.
This Senate is going to respond to the country’s needs, and deliver help to the American people—fast.