September 9, 2020
“What we are hearing from the opposite side of the aisle are empty Democrat promises, and Republicans are delivering on ours. Senate Republicans are going to stay focused on governing. We are going to do the job the American people elected us to do.”
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 Senate Democrats’ partisan obstruction of new coronavirus relief legislation and Senate Republicans’ desire to deliver on promises and get things done.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today, the day before we will be voting on a piece of legislation to deal with relief for people, for a country, dealing with coronavirus.
“I come to the floor today as Americans are looking to us, the United States Senate, to provide relief in this ongoing battle against this disease.
“Republicans, as you well know, are offering a path forward. That is what the American people want. They want a path forward. So tomorrow, the Senate Republicans will move a targeted bill, a bill to help people get back to work, to help kids get back to school, and to deal with and put the disease in the rearview mirror.
“It is interesting, in watching all of the things that unfold in the U.S. Senate and in the Chamber, that Democrats continue to be playing political games.
“The Democratic leaders in the House, as well as the Senate, have held up this round of coronavirus relief just as they held up the last round of coronavirus relief.
“You say: Where is the roadblock? Well, I will tell you. Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi have been the roadblocks to relief for the American public.
“The Speaker has demanded a multi-trillion-dollar blank check to pursue her liberal agenda. It is a liberal wish list, no strings attached. You can go through all of the things that she has asked for.
“Even the New York Times said it was a liberal wish list, and that is the New York Times realizing that it wasn't a serious piece of legislation.
“Yet, just last week, when Speaker Pelosi was asked about it and all of the things that are in it, she said: ‘We're not budging.’ Her statement: ‘We're not budging.’
“At the same time, as you look at what is happening in the country, Presidential nominee Joe Biden seems to be, ever so slowly, coming out of his hiding place in the basement.
“His answer to coronavirus, when the press asked him about this a week or so ago when he just edged out of the basement just a little bit, he said he would shut down the entire country again.
“That is not what they want in Wyoming. That would be a recipe for disaster.
“But that is what the former Vice President, the nominee of the Democrat Party, has said he would do: shut down the country again.
“We have seen, time and time again, Democrat leaders shrink in the face of adversity. Republicans are facing challenges head-on.
“It was interesting that, a couple of weeks ago during the Democrat convention, Joe Biden didn't even mention the violence that was plaguing Democrat-run cities all across the country.
“Not a single one of the Democrat speakers at their convention mentioned the destruction and the looting and the rioting and the violence. Democrat mayors, Democrat governors, through their words and their actions, are encouraging these riots that are destroying our cities.
“They have surrendered to the leftwing mob, and, as a result, violent anarchists rule the streets in a number of the cities run by liberal mayors.
“In Portland, Oregon, police officers have been viciously attacked for 100 days.
“Innocent people have been murdered in cold blood. We have seen small businesses looted, torched--a lifetime of work up in flames.
“Democrat mayors are tying the hands of law enforcement, it appears to me, and liberal city officials are defunding the police, calling to defund the police, voting to defund the police. Clearly, they have refused to allow the police to do their job.
“It is an incredibly dangerous situation, and it is a complete lack of leadership by
“Republicans would defend, not defund, the police.
“The burning, the looting, the rioting--this must stop.
“People are fleeing the liberal cities, and they want to move to states like ours.
“Even some Democrat mayors are fleeing their own homes.
“Portland's mayor is moving out of his condo building to escape the riots. St. Louis's mayor has temporarily relocated from her home, and the mayor of Chicago, interestingly enough, has banned protests on her block while doing nothing to protect the rest of the city, where the number of fatalities and where violence and murder are breaking records at an all-time high.
“People expect their elected leaders to keep them safe, but, really, the Democrats need to get their priorities right. They don't have them right.
“Americans need safety and security so they can get back to a normal routine in their lives.
“There really is some good news to report, and that is both with regard to coronavirus and with regard to the economy.
“Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that coronavirus is starting to retreat, that positivity rates fell 40 percent from July, that hospitalizations were down 60 percent.
“And the good news is that researchers are reporting that they are on track to produce a safe, effective vaccine in record time.
“As a doctor, I will tell you this truly is record time when I think of how long it took--years and years--for vaccines to be developed. Now, we are not out of the woods yet, but we are making significant progress and moving ahead at warp speed.
“That is one of the things that is going to be on the floor tomorrow with this vote, as we work to get people back to work and kids back to school and the virus behind us, is more money and effort for testing and for treatment and for vaccine development and distribution.
“The economic news is good. Joe Biden says he would shut down the country again, but this country is opening up and doing remarkably well.
“The economy added nearly 1.4 million jobs in August alone, 10 million new jobs in the last 4 months. The unemployment rate fell to below 9 percent--8.4 percent. That is down from a pandemic high of close to 15 percent.
“It is interesting. The experts had it all wrong. The experts said that, heading into the fall, we would have an unemployment rate at over 16 percent. It is now down to 8.4.
“I compare this to the economic recovery that took so long when President Obama and Vice President Biden were running the economy.
“We had an unemployment rate of over 9 percent for 30 months in a row--over 9 percent for over 30 months. This time, with the unemployment rate, we are already below 9 percent at 8.4.
“So the economy is rebounding, the virus is receding, but still there is hardship around the country, and that is why we will tomorrow vote on the floor of the United States Senate to deal with the needs of the American people.
“Yet Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress remain focused on a different agenda, and I believe their misguided priorities will hurt, not help, Americans.
“It is interesting, when I listen to the Speaker of the House, even over 100 Democrats wrote her and openly commented that they should be able to be allowed to vote on a targeted piece of legislation. She refused to listen to them.
“But we were home for the last period, listening to folks, and what did we hear them say? They said: We still need help with paycheck protection for our small businesses, so they can continue to make payroll.
“Nancy Pelosi says no. Chuck Schumer says no.
“They said: We want to get our kids back to school so we can go back to work and our kids will not fall so far behind.
“Nancy Pelosi has said no.
“My concern is that, tomorrow, Chuck Schumer will say no as well.
“People at home said: We need a vaccine. We need more testing. We need treatments.
“It sounds like, tomorrow, the Democrats may say no to that as well.
“I look at the list of the things that the Democrats are proposing: more money for sanctuary cities, direct payment checks to illegal immigrants, issues relating to immigration and customs enforcement. That is just the tip of the iceberg.
“At the same time, with their misplaced priorities, they are blocking justice reform. They did that to the Tim Scott justice reform bill that every one of the Republicans cosponsored. They blocked it and refused to even allow it to come to the floor for discussion.
“They are ignoring crime.
“Clearly, the leftwing of the Democratic Party has taken the wheel and has taken a sharp left turn and is headed right off a cliff.
“The Democrats' misguided priorities lie in stark contrast with Republicans' forward-looking plan.
“We have targeted coronavirus relief.
“It is a bill that will help our students, will help our workers, will help our families, will help people with the disease.
“The Senate legislation sensibly extends small business paycheck protection support to help keep people on the payroll.
“It ensures that we beat the disease with the money that we have talked about.
“It gives the schools the tools that they need and continue to need to reopen smartly and safely so our kids won’t be left behind.
“I come to the floor to say the contrast is clear. What we are hearing from the opposite side of the aisle are empty Democrat promises, and Republicans are delivering on ours.
“Senate Republicans are going to stay focused on governing. We are going to do the job the American people elected us to do.
“The choice could not be clearer: Republicans on a path forward or Democrats with their ongoing partisan obstruction.
“I appreciate your time and your attention in this critical time as we move forward with the bill that the American public is asking us to pass, that we have Republicans supporting, that fills the needs and responds directly to the needs of the American people.
“At the same time tomorrow, we will see if the Democrats continue to obstruct or work with us on the solution and a path forward for our Nation.”