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Charles Schumer
  U.S. Senate Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on COVID-19 Aid  CSPAN  August 3, 2020 9:08pm-9:16pm EDT

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i can't imagine this is how democratic colleagues want this to play out. actarch, we built the cares by republicans and democrats working together at the committee level. this time again, republicans introduced a serious proposal written by our own chairman and our own members. but this time, the democratic leader has cut senate democrats out entirely. he is forbidden committees from even talking to republicans. he's digging in on a house much it -- messaging bill written with no input from his own members that even house democrats themselves called absurd. these are not the tactics that will build resolve or get more cash in americans's -- pockets, more health to the unemployed,
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more systems for schools to reopen. it's time for the democratic leadership to get serious about making a law for the american people. mr. president, i just heard the republican leader speak out on the floor. leader mcconnell is busy giving partisan speeches, while for the last two and a half hours, speaker pelosi, myself, secretary of treasury minutia chiefd -- mnuchin and stev of staff meadows were working hard trying to narrow differences and come to an agreement,'we all want to come to an agreement. we know the gravity of the and we willmands it continue to work at it. we had a productive meeting. we narrowed some differences. frankly there are many that remain. but we must not give up. we must not resort to start partisanship.
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we must come together and find a solution. characterize the major difference between our side, wethe republican believe the gravity of the the economic problems, the health problems demand a bold, strong, vigorous solution by the federal government. we believe we must meet those needs and it will cost money, but mark my words. if we spend less money now, it will cost for money later. we hear from schools. they very much want to open. we hear from the parents of children. they want kids to go back to school but they want to do it safely. it costs a lot of dollars to make a school safe. not only the money for masks nppd, but you can't sit to kids
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next to each other on a bus, so there have to be many more bus routes. some of the distanced learning will be distanced, you need hotspots and a lot of kids don't have them in their homes. you might need new ventilating systems because covid demands it for a healthy classroom. you might need to convert gymnasiums and cafeterias into new classrooms and you might need teachers to teach longer and you might even need more teachers. these are very important things to do if we want to open school safely but they demand real dollars. as we sat in the room, we discussed our views as to how many dollars are needed. the same thing with food safety. that during believe this crisis, children and adults should not go hungry and we proposed money to make sure the snap benefit increases that is
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helping people feed themselves to there is enough money feed the kids who used to get school breakfast and lunch and there's enough money so they can feed families. that costs money. the senate republican proposal proposed a tax break for a three slush fund fornd big agribusiness but no money for these kids who need to be fed. that is a significant difference. there are many. we democrats believe strongly we have to have feet -- free and fair elections and the male must be delivered in a timely way. so many more polling places need to be sped up. because of covid, you cannot get close together. there's a long list of things that are needed. the good news is our republican
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colleagues agree with a few of them, but some they don't agree with. we have discussed why we think they need them and they will talk about it with us, but the discussion is necessary. the discussion is productive. and we will continue it. again, the anomaly of the republican leader making a partisan speech on the floor while we, speaker pelosi, myself, secretary mnuchin and meadows are trying to negotiate and move forward is really the contrast that i think most people see. so let's keep moving forward. there is a real crisis here. there are people who o are unemployed and don't deserve a pay cut as they go forward. there are small businesses who need help desperately.
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there are schools that have to open. there are state and local governments that must have funding. this is not an abstract concept. these are firefighters and teachers. these are health-care workers and bus drivers and sanitation men and women. lift the state and local governments don't get money, they will be laid off and services will be much worse. again, we have a wide disparity on what kind of dollars and how to deal with treatments. it's our belief the administrations program on treatment has been a failure and we don't have enough treatment, and we have to redouble efforts to put more money in treatment. these discussions are continuing. it gives me hope we can reach an agreement. we will keep at it because the nation demands a solution. a bold, comprehensive solution that will slay this awful virus and its consequences once and for all. i yield the floor.
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