September 17, 2020
“Republicans will continue working to put the virus in the rearview mirror and deliver what we are seeing right now, and it is the great American comeback.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke on the Senate floor about how Democrats should join Republicans in working toward bipartisan solutions addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today to discuss this unprecedented obstruction that American families are facing from the Democrats.
“In a time when Congress really should be working towards bipartisan solutions on coronavirus, Democrats keep obstructing, over and over and over again.
“It does seem to be their singular focus. It seems to me that they are going to continue to obstruct all the way until November 3, Election Day, putting politics first and American families last.
“The obstruction has reached levels that has even made members of their own caucus, and I will quote, ‘uncomfortable,’ ‘alarmed,'’ and ‘frustrated.’ Now, those are not my words; they are the words of Democrats sitting in Congress, in the United States, in this very building.
“Democrats are telling their leaders that the leaders are failing them by failing to compromise and to work together toward solutions that would benefit the American people.
“So the bad news for American families is that, last week, Democrats in this body, in the U.S. Senate, blocked, obstructed a targeted coronavirus aid package with policies, amazingly, that the Democrats had at one time supported.
“But they came here to the floor of the Senate and voted, in lockstep, no - no to children, no to jobs, no to paychecks, no to fighting the disease.
“They actually blocked relief that would have gotten kids back to school so kids wouldn't fall further behind from the school they have already missed, and it would have let parents get back to work.
“They voted no. They blocked people getting back to work safely. They blocked paycheck protection money so that paychecks could continue to go and businesses, small businesses, could remain open.
“They blocked money for vaccines and treatment, for testing, so we could put the disease in the rearview mirror.
“Now, the good news is that the majority of the Senate did support the legislation to help children and their parents and the workers and the small businesses and the medical personnel fighting against the disease.
“But all those votes came from the Republican side of the aisle. Republicans are united. The Republican bill received 52 ‘yes’ votes. All 52 were Republican.
“Not one single Democrat voted yes, even though the majority of that body had backed the relief efforts. When you talked to them, they said, oh, yes, they are for this and this and this, but they voted on the U.S. Senate floor to block it.
“It’s interesting, they even blocked allowing the Senate to discuss these issues.
“All we did was come to the floor and say: We have some proposals. Let's discuss them. If you don't like them, offer amendments. We can discuss those, debate those.
“They even blocked a motion to move to get that bill to the floor of the Senate, step one of legislating. They said no.
“So they may say they want to help the American people, but that is not what happened on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
“The New York Times had a headline that said: ‘Hopes Dim for More Stimulus as Democrats Block Narrow GOP Plan.’
“Well, they’re right; it is a narrow plan because it is targeted. It is targeted to kids and schools, to workers, jobs, and the disease.
“It doesn't include all of the extraneous things that Nancy Pelosi and the House put in: money for environmental justice, money for the National Endowment, for this, that, and the next thing, money for, you name it, direct paychecks to illegal immigrants.
“That is just the tip of the iceberg when you take a look at their entire list. To me, it was Nancy Pelosi living on ‘Fantasy Island.’
“Now POLITICO said of the vote: ‘Senate Democrats block Republican COVID relief proposal.’ Senate Democrats block, once again, blocking the things that the American families all across this country are asking when they look to Congress for help and relief.
“USA TODAY had the headline: ‘Senate Democrats block $300 billion coronavirus stimulus package, leaving little hope for relief before November’
“$300 billion. That is a huge amount of money that could do so much to help our schools, to help our students, to help small businesses, to help our workers, and to help fight the disease.
“Unfortunately, this has been the record that we have seen coming from the Democrats ever since the pandemic began.
“While the virus was raging in March, Democrats delayed help for Americans by blocking the CARES Act.
“The New York Times headline at that time, on March 22, said: ‘Emergency Economic Rescue Plan in Limbo as Democrats Block Action.’
“So they were blocking it back in March, and they were blocking it last Thursday.
“In April, as small businesses were forcibly shut down by the government, they were fighting to, one day, reopen their doors, that is all they wanted to do, get back to business, they wanted to keep employees on the payroll, Democrats, once again, blocked funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.
“This is a wonderful program. Thirteen thousand of these loans were taken in the State of Wyoming by small businesses. Our average loan was about $78,000.
“These are small businesses that just needed help making the payroll, keeping people working, keeping people on the payroll, looking forward to the days that they could return to business as usual.
“NPR, National Public Radio, pointed to this on April 9. It said this: ‘Senate Democrats Block GOP Efforts to Boost Small Business Aid.’ Senate Democrats blocking aid for small businesses all across the country.
“Then, in August, as unemployment insurance was set to expire, Republicans asked for consent on this floor to extend the program. Democrats came to this very floor and, once again, objected.
“So, today, with an opportunity to finish the fight against coronavirus, the Democrats have a full roadblock in place against any further relief.
“The cold, hard truth that we face is that they have delayed aid, and they have divided this country all year long.
“I would go so far as to say this has hurt the country, it has hurt families, it has hurt our students, it has hurt our schools, it has hurt our healthcare providers, and it has certainly hurt people trying to recover from the disease.
“Remember that the year started with the Democrats' completely partisan impeachment farce.
“We sat here, day after day, listening as the Democrats brought forth charge after charge against the President.
“That is how we started the year, and now we are ending with their blocking of coronavirus relief.
“Let me assure the country, Republicans won’t let you down. Republicans will continue working to put the virus in the rearview mirror and deliver what we are seeing right now, and it is the great American comeback.
“It is people getting back to work--over 10 million Americans back to work over the last 4 months.
“It is an unemployment rate down below 9 percent. It was over 9 percent for 4 months.
“It is businesses reopening, kids going back to school, a vaccine on the way - great, optimistic ideas and thoughts regarding the vaccine.
“I met with the Secretary of Health and Human Services earlier today. I’m very encouraged and optimistic about a vaccine being available to many at the end of the year.
“So there is a lot to be optimistic about as the country comes back from the coronavirus because this is the great American comeback.”