October 20, 2020
“Democrats are refusing money for Americans until Congress funds their laundry list of unrelated liberal items for their favored liberal special interest groups.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke on the Senate floor about Democrats’ continued effort to block coronavirus relief legislation if it does not meet their list of political demands.
Senator Barrasso also commended Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for her work on paycheck protection to aid small businesses.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“First, I would like to commend my colleague, the Senator from Maine, for her absolute unquestioned leadership in this issue of paycheck protection.
“She knows in Maine, as I do in Wyoming, the importance of small businesses to our communities, to our main streets, to the vitality of our economies.
“She has led the fight from the beginning of coronavirus to make sure our businesses would remain viable, that they would have opportunities to keep people on the payroll, that they could continue to contribute to their communities.
“She was the one that brought up this idea at the first place, shepherded it all the way through the Congress as part of the Cares Act and continues in that leadership role today.
“I come here, today, on the floor to first commend my colleague from Maine and also to talk about the ongoing fight against coronavirus and the plan forward guided by data and doctors to put the disease behind us and let all of these small businesses to continue to strive and to thrive.
“Those in the fight against the virus, and I talk to you as a doctor now, continue to hold our respect and our admiration. They are doing remarkable work in community hospitals and clinics all around the country.
“Across the country, as a result of the PPP program, our main streets are getting a little busier, our economy is gaining strength, kids are going back to school and even some football is being played.
“Most importantly, we're learning more about this disease and how we can successfully treat COVID-19.
“What doctors and clinicians and researchers and scientists have been able to accomplish in such a relatively short period of time is nothing short of remarkable.
“These men and women are fighting a battle every day in the labs and hospitals around the world. They are racing against time, and they are saving lives. They are heroes today at work all across our nation.
“An effective vaccine will allow everyone to get back to work and to school. It will also be the protection our most vulnerable Americans desperately needs, our seniors, patients with preexisting conditions, anyone confined to a nursing home.
“Congress has already directed $10 billion for vaccine development. I for one and other members of the Republican Conference believe that we should be doing more.
“A month ago, the Senate tried to begin debate on our plan to finish the fight against coronavirus. The bill we brought to the floor of the Senate would get people back to work safely, would get kids back to school safely and would put the disease behind us.
“Instead, Democrats on this very floor, on this very floor, blocked the focused, targeted bill.
“This week, Democrats once again are blocking another vote on relief for coronavirus. Relief that's needed all around the country. Relief that I hear about in Wyoming. Relief that our constituents talk to us about as we travel our states.
“So why are the Democrats blocking this legislation?
“Well, it must be something significant to make them block giving aid to the American people when the people need it most urgently.
“Well, maybe this is why. Maybe the Republican bill doesn't include millions of dollars in tax breaks for rich people in New York and California. The Democrat House-passed bill includes those things.
“The Republican bill doesn't give taxpayer money to people who are in the country illegally, but the Democrat House-passed bill does do that.
“The Republican bill doesn't bail out states that have been mismanaged way before anyone had ever heard of coronavirus. The Democrat House-passed bill does that as well.
“The Republican bill doesn't include money for marijuana banking. The House-passed bill does all of these things.
“Hard to believe these are the reasons that Democrats are preventing coronavirus relief from reaching the President's desk.
“Just look at the difference in the priorities.
“Democrats are refusing money for Americans until Congress funds their laundry list of unrelated liberal items for their favored liberal special interest groups.
“I hope the real reason for this coronavirus relief bill that it's being blocked isn't because of an upcoming election.
“I mean, I sincerely hope that Americans aren't being used to score political points or to damage political opponents.
“Surely, that can't be the reason. It would be unthinkable.
“Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer need to set aside all of their political demands and focus on the people in need. Set aside the wasteful spending, unrelated to this battle, in order to save lives. Set aside their opposition to more money for a lifesaving vaccine.
“Now is the time to make an agreement that would actually benefit Americans today.
“There is an urgency.
“We need to act, and we should act now.
“To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this virus could do its worst, but we will do our best.
“We're doing our best.
“We're doing our best to get through this together, to get a safe and effective vaccine, to get our economy and lives back on track.
“It is time to pass targeted relief.
“This is the path forward for America.”