United States Senate, Democratic Party LIVE: Democratic Senators hold a news conference
Okay, thank you, everybody and let me thank senators durbin stabenow warren for joining us. We want to talk about what’s happening to our country and the votes as they relate today and tomorrow our country is in enormous pain. We’Ve, had 220 000 people die, um millions sick, the numbers going up who gets sick? Six million americans missed their rent payment last month. Millions are losing their jobs, business, small businesses are going under left and right. We have so many different problems and what do the republicans do, leader mcconnell a stunt? They can’t get anything done. Their caucus is divided leader, mcconnell and senate. Republicans are the major barrier to preventing us from getting a bill, because even when mnuchin calls them up, they say they’re not going to do anything. What was really indicative of what happened was what happened at the appropriations committee. Pelosi said our number’s 143 mnuchin says we can get up to 119., so they decided to have the appropriators get together. The republican appropriator said our instructions are to start at zero. We don’t have any other instructions so to when the american people are suffering. To put this political stunt on the floor, a second time is cruel, is is harsh and has chosen complete lack of leadership and caring for the suffering of the american people. Now, what are we doing? We are making an effort to bring to the floor the heroes to bill the bill that passed the house.
That would have a realistic chance of helping people, and it has many things in it that are not in either bill that is being brought up today and tomorrow by the republican senate stunt. Let me remind you what they are, some of them we’re, going to focus on three here. One is health care. We need more testing, we need more tracing the heroes. Bill has 75 billion dollars and more important even than the money is a plan laid out to how to do it because the administration’s been incompetent. We gave the money last time. Do you know? Nine billion is still sitting there for the states to do tracing and they haven’t even distributed it. Yet, even though it was passed in the original cares bill. So we need money for testing and tracing, but we need money for our hospitals, the doctors and nurses and health care workers we can’t leave them behind. We need money for patients who are sick, none of that first area, health care testing and helping our health care institutions and helping the american people when they need health care. Second, is schools. We need our schools to reopen safely safely. Everyone wants to reopen them. We cannot leave our school children behind. We cannot leave our teachers behind and those who work in the schools. Nor can we leave all the parents behind who have jobs at work, but if their kids aren’t in school, what are they going to do? And the third area we’re focusing on today is small business.
This ppbp bill leaves out so much that the heroes bill has in it. No targeted aid for restaurants, no targeted aid for stages; no targeted aid for minority businesses; no targeted aid for local news, media, critical access, hospitals and non profits; no idle money, the money, probably that smaller business is used. Easiest of all, because it’s a grant – and there are so so there are so many places where their bills are inadequate and don’t meet the need so it’s a sham because nothing’s going to pass mcconnell can’t even put a real bill on the floor. All he can do is put in a motion to table and then vote against it a sham, a stunt. If there ever was one and it’s the second time they’re doing it. Didn’T work from the first time, won’t work for them again and then there they put poison pills in their bill tomorrow that they know, democrats won’t, accept and my colleagues will address some of those as well. So every day of families are left behind in so many different ways. So we democrats later today are going to turn up the pressure on republicans they’re all going to have to cast a vote whether they want to vote on the hero’s bill or not, which is comprehensive. 72 percent of americans according to new york times, sienna support. Another 2 trillion dollar stimulus package like heroes, half the republicans do so americans will see exactly where senate value, senate republican values are whether they really care, or they just want to go through a game and pretend they’re doing something while actually doing nothing at all.
It’S. A damn shame what they’re doing senator durbin idiots idiots that’s, what president donald trump called the public health experts who work in the federal government and he put dr anthony fauci in the same sentence. I don’t think they’re idiots. I think they’re experts and this president is uncomfortable around them because they are warning us we’re about to see a surge in infections and deaths in america, america, sadly, america, with 5 percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of the covet 19 deaths. America, just south of a nation of canada, we have two and a half times the number of people dying from covet 19 as canada, what’s wrong, there’s, no leadership and that’s what it comes down to in this debate. This president says he’s tired of talking about this covet thing. His people are having rallies, they’re, not worried. Sadly, they endanger their lives every time they show up at one of his rallies. We know that and he obviously doesn’t care, so the medical imperative of more and more infections and more and more deaths is a reality. Do we take it seriously so seriously that nancy pelosi passed her covet relief bill five months ago, mitch mcconnell as he brought it to the floor, refuses to all he offers. Are these skinny versions that don’t address the real issues but there’s? A second reason that this has now made the calendar for mitch mcconnell. He got the hell kicked out of him last week at the hearing of the senate judiciary committee, witness after witness made it clear.
This should not be the breakneck priority of the united states senate. Covet 19 should be our priority if we’re ever going to save lives and reopen the economy, and so his vulnerable members needed some cover and that’s what they’re going to get an opportunity for a vote. But we know what’s missing. What’S missing is more testing at a time when we desperately needed more contact tracing at a time we desperately needed and help for hospitals and clinics and medical professionals all across this country. What’S missing is help for families dramatic cuts by senator mcconnell when it comes to unemployment benefits, food stamps, snap program, rent help stimulus checks all left out when it comes to the mcconnell proposal and the bottom line i’ll leave you with is this: he did put his Red line in this bill just to make sure that it wasn’t going anywhere you’ve heard him say it over and over on the floor, nothing’s going to pass unless i can have immunity for liability for the biggest corporations in america when it comes to kova 19.. The american people see through that, if mcconnell creates that kind of immunity what’s the likelihood, those companies will do the right thing to protect their employees and their customers. We are determined to get a real bill that addresses a very real problem. Thank you good afternoon. The people in michigan the people across america need help and they need it right now. They needed it yesterday and you know: it’s really not stimulus, it’s about survival for michigan families, it’s about survival for our businesses and under the republican bill too many people are left behind that’s the bottom line.
Instead of giving people the help they need. They’Ve introduced a bill that ignores our urgent testing and other health care needs our families, our children and far too many of our businesses. If we want parents to feel confident that their children can go back to school safely, if we want people to feel they can open their businesses safely and get back to work, republicans can’t leave millions of people behind and that’s exactly what mitch mcconnell’s bill does right. Now, it’s not safe, covert 19 cases, hospitalizations deaths are spiking, hospitals and nurses are struggling to get enough. Ppe. Our health care professionals are exhausted and stressed and at severe risk of burnout, but the republicans leave them behind and their these millions of families. Behind you know the extra 600 a week provided in the cares package was a lifeline and it needs to be extended. A survey last month found that more than 25 of michigan residents, one out of four thought they were going to be evicted or have their home foreclosed on in the next two months. Mitch, mcconnell’s bill also leaves hungry children and families behind we have 40 percent of those who are on snap food assistance in our country, who’ve gotten no additional help through this entire process of covet, and finally, they are leaving far too many businesses behind and the employees That work for them, restaurants and gyms and craft breweries and theaters that have revitalized michigan small towns all across our state.
These small businesses need help now in the initial round of ppp. We also, as democrats fought for 30 billion dollars in dedicated funding to support minority owned small businesses and underserved communities and nonprofits. That also is not in there and they are left behind. We need to approach this pandemic and the economic pain it’s unleashed with the seriousness and boldness. It deserves our health care providers, our children and families, and business indeed help right now. This is not the time to leave. Anybody behind and democrats are fighting to make sure they aren’t senator warren. Thank you. 220 000. Americans are dead from covid 19. millions more have contracted the disease and continue to suffer. We have tens of millions of people across this country who are either unemployed or afraid. They’Re about to lose their jobs, parents who are struggling because they can’t get daycare, they can’t get their children into school, small businesses that have shuttered and not sure if they will ever be able to reopen restaurants, who can’t see a business plan going forward minority owned Businesses that have been hit the hardest and what does mitch mcconnell do plays politics instead of helping people. This bill that he’s putting on the floor again is not a bill about helping people it’s a bill about leaving people behind who does mitch mcconnell want to leave behind. He wants to leave behind every single person in this country who is worried about covid19, no help for our hospitals, not enough for tracing not enough for testing, not enough for our doctors and nurses just leave them behind, and what about parents? School children? No money here for the kids who are caught in between having to try to study from home parents who are struggling with that.
Just leave them behind, and this bill leaves millions of small businesses behind restaurants behind minority owned businesses behind there are so many left behind. In the mcconnell bill, but understand this, the mcconnell train does have some first class tickets in it first class tickets for giant corporations for giant corporations, a release of liability, no matter how irresponsible they are. They don’t have to worry about making their own employees or their customers sick, sick to the point of dying mitch. Mcconnell says those folks get a first class ticket on the mcconnell train and how about parents, wealthy parents who want to send their kids to private schools? The mcconnell train says: let’s: have the taxpayers pick up the bill for that full tax credit for sending your kid to a fancy boarding school? How about that? In other words, what mcconnell’s doing here is playing politics of the ugliest sort. He wants to stand up and claim that he’s helping the american people no he’s playing the same old game, no help for the people who need it and lots of help for the people who don’t well that’s, not where the democrats are. The democrats are here for working families for people who are struggling for small businesses for restaurants, for minority owned businesses, for our doctors and nurses, for the people who are in public health who are trying to get their arms wrapped around this coveted crisis. This is what it’s going to take not only to deal with this immediate health care crisis, but also the economic crisis that is tumbling behind it, that’s why the democrats will be voting no today, questions from this subject.
Yes, senator mcconnell said that if speaker pelosi and the white house do reach some sort of agreement and that there’s a bill that passes the house we’ll, take it up in the senate. That doesn’t mean that republicans will support it. But i’m wondering. Are you uh? In talks with uh him at all about the negotiations that are happening, leader mcconnell has been dr. No when anyone approaches him, including the administration, he has said no, no, no so uh we’ll have to see. If this latest thing is a change or just another ruse. Another trick like they’re built today, but you haven’t spoken to him at all, about that. He doesn’t speak to many people about these things. How you see um this particular issue playing out after the election since it seems like this is not going to happen before the election? Well, look. We democrats want to get a big, bold bill that will meet the american people’s needs as soon as we can so nancy pelosi is fighting to get one now and, as you know, we’ve been met just with intransigence by the republican senate. We will try to get one in the lame duck and we will try to get one should we win the presidency and win the senate after that, the sooner the better, but it needs to not leave people behind. It needs to be a strong big bill. This is the greatest economic crisis in 75 years, the greatest health care crisis in a hundred years.
We need something that meets that that rises to that occasion and meets the moment and we’ll fight for it. Okay, yes about anything for ppp funding itself. If this giant bill doesn’t go through or get support, i mean businesses are just hurting out there, and some of them are wondering if they’re gon na first of all, we don’t want to leave anyone behind period, because you do one thing: what about everybody else and What about the people, you know, some republicans may say, did that and i don’t have to do anything else. We can’t do that as a country, not as a party, but as a country we need to include all the people who need help you’re going to tell a mother who can’t feed their kids. Forget it you’re going to tell someone being evicted from their home. Forget it you’re going to tell a school that can’t open. Forget it not us. Yes, sure some progressive groups have spoken out criticizing senator feinstein for her handling of the hearings. I was wondering what you make of this criticism and do you plan to make any changes to the judiciary committee. Okay, i’ve had a long and serious talk with senator feinstein that’s all i’m going to say about it right now: okay, nope. Can i ask you about north carolina? Um. Republicans are, oh sorry, um, republicans, yeah, sorry, sorry about that. Republicans have seized on the um uh cunningham’s um, extramarital relations biggest issue yeah and i just wanted to see um do you? Are you still confident that cunningham can win biggest issue in north carolina? Is health care like it is across america, the need of americans to be protected from pre existing conditions, the need of senior citizens to be able to afford their drugs? The need of people who don’t have health care to get it that’s the number one issue in north carolina and that’s.
Why we’re going to prevail? Yes on that topic, obviously you’re running this campaign and against the supreme court nominee based on health care. How is the decision made amongst uh democratic leadership, to focus so specifically on health care? There are a whole number of issues, but the number one issue of salience to the american people. We, you know if you hear the supreme court, the american people say health care. This court will take away your health care uh, oh and that’s, why the american people want us to delay overwhelmingly we’re in the middle of a great crisis. A pandemic people have needed help with pre existing conditions long before the pandemic. Do they want to get insurance? A mother or father whose child has cancer doesn’t want to be told by the insurance company. You can’t get insurance and watch their kids suffer. We believe that’s a such an important issue that it’s one of them, but we have talked about a woman’s right to choose. We have talked about labor rights, we have talked about environmental rights, we have talked about voting rights, we have talked about civil rights, we have talked about lgbtq rights, they’re all important, but health care has been the number one issue out there in the country and we Chose to emphasize it. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Applause.