Skip to main content

Charles Schumer
  U.S. Senate Senators Mc Connell Schumer on COVID-19 Relief Bill  CSPAN  September 10, 2020 5:49am-6:15am EDT

5:49 am
website, where you can see our full list of events, our daily and weekly publications podcasts, online , forums, and whatever else on the site that might interest you. thank you so much everybody, for , joining us. we will see you next time. >> here is a look at our live coverage thursday. on c-span, house speaker nancy pelosi folds her weekly news conference at 10:45 a.m. eastern. at noon, the governors of new mexico, minnesota, kansas and guam testify before the house financial services committee about providing financial aid to states and u.s. territories during the coronavirus pandemic. then on c-span two, the senate is back to vote on whether to move forward with the economic relief bill that the republicans introduced in response to covid-19. saw another installment in an ongoing series that has become somewhat
5:50 am
familiar. republicans roll out yet another effort to forge a bipartisan compromise around coronavirus relief, and democrats reply with partisan cheap shots and threats to block everything. republicans develop a serious plan to get historic amounts of additional money in the pipeline for kids, for jobs, for schools, and democrats just point fingers, call names and keep blocking american families from getting any more help before the november election. in july, republicans put forward a serious framework, but speaker pelosi and the democratic leader refused to talk unless starting point was their literally absurd $3.4 trillion far-left wish list that even house democrats called a stunt. in august, when those talks
5:51 am
stalled, republicans proposed narrow agreements on specific urgent policies to help families. unemployment benefits, the paycheck protection program. democrats refused again. this time their invented excuse was that any assistance short of their entire wish list was too piecemeal, too piecemeal and not worth doing. if democrats didn't get their diversity studies for the cannabis industry, stimulus checks for illegal immigrants, tax cuts for blue-state millionaires, they'd make sure millions of americans would lose their unemployment benefits and p.p.p. would close. that's what they threatened and that's what they did. so here we are in september. schools and colleges have gone
5:52 am
without, without the $105 billion that republicans wanted to give them back in july. that's more money than speaker pelosi put in her bill. american workers have gone without the second round of the p.p.p. that republicans proposed weeks and weeks ago. speaker pelosi had no money for p.p.p. in her $3.4 trillion bill. the race for treatments and vaccines has gone without the additional funding that republicans wanted to deliver. families have gone without the economic relief that republicans wanted to put in their pockets. and washington democrats have just kept trying to run out the clock, run out the clock until november. but here's one thing, madam president. the senate majority works for the american people. we fight for american families. we're not going to let speaker pelosi and the democratic leader
5:53 am
kill and bury coronavirus relief behind closed doors without putting every senator on the record. so we have put together a new targeted proposal containing several of the most urgent and most popular policies that would help americans right now, and tomorrow the whole senate will vote on it. it will be a procedural vote. it's not a vote to pass our bill tomorrow precisely as written. it's a vote for senators to say whether they want to move forward toward huge amounts of relief for kids, for jobs, for health care, or whether they are happier doing absolutely nothing. that is what every single senator will decide tomorrow. do you want to do something -- something -- or do you want to do nothing? democratic leaders know this simple choice will put the
5:54 am
spotlight on their partisan antics. they know this vote will expose their obstruction. speaker pelosi and leader schumer were attacking our new proposal yesterday before they even read it, before it had even come out. i would normally make fun of that, madam president, but in this case it makes perfect sense because their position is clearly they do not want any bipartisan relief whatsoever. they do not want any bipartisan relief whatsoever to reach american families prior to the election. they didn't even need to see what we were proposing. if it helped working families in any way, in any way between now and november 3, speaker pelosi and leader schumer knew for sure they opposed it. their red herrings and cherry-picked arguments have given way to total dishonesty. yesterday our colleague from new york railed against a provision pertaining to critical supply chains, calling it some sinister giveaway to big
5:55 am
business. a provision pertaining to critical supply chains, he called a sinister giveaway to big business? madam president, that provision is cosponsored by his own democratic ranking member on the committee. so either the democratic leader is impugning his own ranking member right along with republicans or else he simply doesn't know what he's talking about. likewise, the junior senator from vermont attacked this provision as corporate welfare, but he himself did not vote against this very provision in committee on two occasions. they're so desperate to keep working families from getting hean before the election -- any help before the election that some democrats are now attacking things they previously supported. at this point it's just silly season on the democratic side. they've run out of excuses not to legislate, and even their cheap shots just backfire in
5:56 am
embarrassing ways. but tomorrow, tomorrow the senate will cut through all the noise with one vote. every senator will either say they want to move forward, agree where we can, and make a law to help people and keep arguing over our differences later, or say they prefer to do absolutely nothing. every senator will vote on this significant package which secures federal unemployment benefits, reopens the p.p.p. for a second draw, sends more than $100 million to keep kids safe in school, helps parents with child care, helps family afford expenses for homeschooling, and rebuilds our strategic medical stockpile. this is not, not a simplistic argument over big versus small. republicans want more money for
5:57 am
k-12 and college than was in the democrats' bill. we want more money for p.p.p., which their bill forgot to fund. these are bipartisan priorities that democrats left behind and republicans want to take care of. so tomorrow, tomorrow american families will learn who wants to make a law for them and who is happiest if thecoming more and . the republican leader calls his bill bipartisan. i would remind the leader that bipartisan means two parties, democrats and republicans. his bill is only a product of the republican side. the republican leader said democrats are delaying things. was it democrats who called for a pause? was it democrats when covid was ranging said -- raging said we had to assess the situation? oh, no, it was the republican leader who said those things.
5:58 am
meanwhile, democrats in the house, supported by democrats in the senate, have passed a strong, comprehensive bill. we have just been waiting and waiting for our republican friends to get their act together so they might come close, even near coming to the moment that we need it. so after taking a pause on covid relief for four months, finally, finally, finally senate republicans are realizing the damage that their delay has done to our economy and the nation's health. yesterday, leader mcconnell announced by the end of the week, the senate would vote on a new slimmed-down version of an already-skinny republican bill. we know what happened here. the leader did nothing for months, but the american people are demanding action. republican governors, local officials, hospitals, small businesses, everyone is demanding action. restaurants.
5:59 am
performance stages in places are demanding action, not just of democrats, but of both sides of the aisle. so the leader had to do something. at first, he tried to cobble together a legislative response, but it failed spectacularly. leader mcconnell was unable to bring it even forward for a vote. that's happened a couple of weeks ago. so now, because he can't get the votes, because by his own admission, 20 of his own members want no money voted in this crisis. how many americans think there should be no money at the height of the greatest economic crisis we have had since the depression, the height of the greatest health crisis we have had since the spanish pandemic flu? how many americans think the federal government should do nothing? but a large chunk of the republican caucus evidently seems to, by the republican leader's own admission. so he couldn't even get this trillion-dollar bill passed.
6:00 am
it was pathetic. so now republicans are going to cut their original inadequate, $1 trillion bill in half in a desperate attempt to find the lowest common denominator among republicans. as the pain, the economic pain for millions of americans advance, senate republicans are actually moving backward. of course, up until now, the issue in our negotiations with the white house where leader mcconnell have been absent has been about the size and scope of the next relief bill. democrats passed a $3 trillion bill through the house over two months ago. why? that's the need of america during this great crisis. we didn't come up with just any numbers. we studied it carefully. we talked to school administrators. what do you need? we talked to hospital administrators.
6:01 am
what do you need? we talked to restaurants. we talked to performance places. what do you need? we came up with a carefully thought-out bill that met the need. our republican friends didn't meet the need. they came out with what they called a skinny bill at $1 trillion. we all know why. the right-wing ideology that has so gripped so much of the republican party doesn't want to spend any money. we at least in an offer to compromise offered to meet our republican friends in the middle. they balked. no, no, no, they didn't want to compromise. their way or no way. and now, instead of improving their offer, senate republicans have made it even stingier and even less appropriate to the looming crises that we have. i'm not sure what kind of negotiating strategy that is,
6:02 am
but it sure isn't a serious strategy and it sure won't be successful. that's why i called it cynical yesterday. covid-19 has changed nearly every aspect of american life. the needs in our country are so great. the pain felt by average americans is severe. and yet the new republican proposal doesn't include food assistance for people who can't feed their kids, rental assistance for people who will be kicked out of their homes, aid to state and local governments desperate not to lay off, bus drivers, sanitation workers and firefighters. in their new bill republicans won't even let the states use existing funds to cover lost revenues. it leaves out hazard pay, it leaves out broadband so desperately need in rural areas, it leaves out funding for safe elections and help for the census. it shortchanges our health care system and education system.
6:03 am
as school years begin across the country, the new emaciated republican bill basically makes funding for schools contingent upon reopening. so if you're a school struggling with the cost of operating remotely, if you're a school that would like to reopen safely but need help instituting new standards and protections, the g.o.p. bill says tough luck. donald trump comes up with the idea that all schools must open and our republican colleagues come up with a proposal that says to the millions of kids who will go to school remotely or in hybrid situations, we're going to make it much heard for you to -- harder for you to get help. that is to say nothing about the fact that the new republican covid bill is laden with poison pills designed to make its passage possible. some would say if they want to come to a compromise why would they put poison pills in the
6:04 am
bill that they know are nonstarters to get a bipartisan compromise? is it because they really don't want a bill but a political issue, one that will ultimately backfire on them, i believe? well, but they've done it. there is broad corporate immunity that my colleague in illinois has so focused on, an immunity protection that would protect corporations that would put people in harm's way. and to get liability from hard-right seashes who didn't want to spend money, they added a program proposed by secretary devos. republicans call their new bill targeted but by almost every measure it misses the mark. it is impossible to look at the new g.o.p. proposal as a serious effort to passing a law. it is impossible to look at this g.o.p. proposal and not wonder
6:05 am
do our republican friends see the damage in america? are they still intent on playing these same games? are they still trying to fool the american people by calling a harshly partisan proposal bipartisan as the leader just did? if republicans were serious about achieving a result they would have joined negotiations with speaker pelosi and me and the white house. if leader mcconnell was so eager to get something done, why wasn't he at the table for weeks? republicans could have encouraged the white house to improve their offer to meet us in the middle, toe break the -- to break the logjam. where are the republican senators? i haven't heard a voice. speak out to say we should meet in the middle. they are all so afraid of what donald trump might say, i suppose. leader mcconnell, instead,
6:06 am
crafted a partisan bill, no input from democrats, even leaner and meaner than the previous republican proposal. and will rush it to the floor two days after releasing it. this is one of the most cynical moves by any leader i've ever seen. this isn't about making law or working in good faith with the other party. leader mcconnell isn't searching for bipartisan progress. he seems to be looking for political cover. it won't pass on thursday and we'll be right back where we are today, needing our republican colleagues to understand the gravity of the situation in our country and work with us in a bill that actually makes some sense and deals with the flag tiewd -- magnitude of this awful crisis. now a final matter. the new republican bill is silent on a whole host of crucial issues, including a number of the items that affects
6:07 am
small businesses. over the state work period, i visited several independent music and theater venues that have struggled during the covid-19 pandemic. live venues were some of the first to close and they'll be the last to open up. many of them are already on the brink of collapse. there's the rent, the utilities, an entire year without revenues. live music, people are close together so they couldn't continue during covid and they have to pay thele until -- they have to wait until the very end. but they are so important to so many communities, urban, suburban, and rural. and, unfortunately, according to one survey, 90% of independent venues will have to close permanently without federal funding. what an incredible shame that would be.
6:08 am
these are indy music venues, jazz clubs, orchestra halls, comedy clubs, even broadway which is made up of thousands of small theaters. these independent venues provide 75% of all artists' income and drive economic activity within our communities at restaurants, hotels, stores, and other establishments. but what we risk if these venues close permanently isn't purely economic, although it is so important. i was in albany and syracuse yesterday. it is estimated that the arts are one of the top five employers in both of those cities. we can't afford to let this happen. economically we will lose thousands and thousands of jobs. cities will lose -- cities downtown will lose their
6:09 am
vitality. and the risks, if these venues close permanent, is not just economic. they are the very fabric of our society, which has been stretched to the breaking point by this crisis. once this is all over, we will need these venues and the passionate, inspiring artistic work that they help make possible as we come together again and try to make sense of this incredible difficult moment in our history. so we is have a bipartisan bill, the save our stages act, that would create a new $10 billion program to provide federal grants to live venue operators so when good-willing they can open safely, these venues can open up bigger and better than ever. those grants would go six months giving the venues enough time to recuperate and god willing there is a new vaccines, they will be
6:10 am
able, able to open again. one of the most difficult parts of this pandemic is the effect on society's art and culture, these are the things we live for, sports, comedy, music. and when the pandemic is behind us, we will want to celebrate at these venues. i hope that we can come together in future to pass the save our stages act and save this essential part of american c-span, yourtching unfiltered view of government, created by american cable television companies as a public youice, and provided to free of charge. >> my name is craig kaplan.
6:11 am
i am our capitol hill producer for the network, what is going on on the house and senate floors. >> congress is coming back to session this week. can you tell us a little more about that? >> it has been a priority of senate republicans to fill judicial nominations and u.s. court seats that president trump has nominated, so we will be working on that. but some news out this week that senate we public and's are going to ashes senate republicans are going to put forward -- senate republicans are going to put forward their own relief bill that includes money to promote jobs, for having people go back to schools, for small businesses through the paycheck protection program, things like that that have already been in existence and that would add a targeted amount of money. right now, senator mitch
6:12 am
mcconnell once this -- senator mitch mcconnell wants this more targeted bill. he could call a full vote in the senate by the end of the week. consideringnate bringing that to the floor? >> the house did pass legislation to improve operations for the u.s. postal service. that legislation garnered over 20 republicans, as well as all house democrats. you would think that type of legislation that has bipartisan support would now be sent over to the senate and garner the interest of senate republicans. but according to mitch mcconnell, as well as those of -- as well as other senate republicans, there's no plans to bring that legislation up. >> this 22 days until the
6:13 am
government might shutdown. what would need to happen for the government to not shut down between now and 22 days from now? >> the government shutdown is a really major priority for senate and house republicans and democrats. neither side is saying that they do not when a government shutdown. the reason it works is the government is currently funded through september 30 at midnight. they need to pass legislation to make sure that funding doesn't run out and a government shutdown would occur. secretary mnuchin and speaker pelosi announced they had reached an agreement make sure a government shutdown would not and potentially extending that government funding that ends september 30 through december. but the devil is in the details, and we don't know any of them yet. it is a major push as we look to potentially more than 20 days left before the government could
6:14 am
shut down, but it looks like a continuing resolution or a short-term spending bill, as they call it, will be needed and will be passed by both bodies, and hopefully the president will sign it to avoid that shutdown. >> is there anything else making top headlines now that would be important for people to know about what is coming up in congress? >> the house returns next week. there's several bills they plan to take up. one dealing with anti-asian bias related to the covid-19 pandemic. you've heard the terms of "the wuhan virus." house democrats are planning a bill to condemn that type of language. we are also seeing legislation to decriminalize marijuana, and a lot of legislation that house democrats leaders are planning to bring up about diversity, promoting student rights ahead of reason protests, and