MURPHY TO SENATE REPUBLICANS: YOUR BILL IS NOT SERIOUS ABOUT THE PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS WE FACE TODAY

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, on Monday delivered remarks on the U.S. Senate floor as negotiations are underway on a third coronavirus relief bill. Democrats are pushing for the bill to focus on resources to states for public health services to address the pandemic head-on, as well as to help workers, families, and small businesses struggling to stay afloat during this crisis. Murphy denounced the Republicans’ proposal for giving unaccountable bailouts to corporations while failing to provide sufficient assistance to American workers, small businesses, hospitals and medical professionals.

On his opposition to the Republican bill and its failure to address the coronavirus pandemic: “Let's be clear about what we're talking about here. We don't think your bill works. We don't think the bill that has been drafted by the majority party is going to fix the problem. This is a policy disagreement. And I have an obligation as a representative of my state to stand up and say when I don't think a $2 trillion dollar bill is going to fix the problem. It may make a lot of people rich but, it doesn't have the resources in it today to take care of the most vulnerable in this country and it's not going to do the primary job at hand, which is to stop the virus.”

Murphy continued on the need to help workers and not corporations: “And yes, we are worried about the lack of conditionality on funding to big businesses, to Wall Street. Yes, we are worried about the fact that this is going to make rich people much richer, and at the same time not actually stopping the public health crisis. These are policy differences.”

A full transcript of Murphy’s opening remarks can be found below:

“Thank you, Mr. President.

“You can't keep on saying it's a bipartisan bill when it clearly is not. If it was a bipartisan bill, you wouldn't have this level of angst from Democrats who were shut out of the process.

 “Let's be clear about what we're talking about here. We don't think your bill works. We don't think the bill that has been drafted by the majority party is going to fix the problem. This is a policy disagreement. And I have an obligation as a representative of my state to stand up and say when I don't think a $2 trillion dollar bill is going to fix the problem. It may make a lot of people rich but, it doesn't have the resources in it today to take care of the most vulnerable in this country and it's not going to do the primary job at hand, which is to stop the virus.

“Remember, there's no amount of economic stimulus that we can pass, $1 trillion, $2 trillion, $3 trillion, that will solve this problem if we don't get serious about the public health crisis that exists today. And when you shortchange states, when you don't provide enough money to help my state and my municipalities manage testing, move congregate populations apart from each other, try to manage the crisis, then you aren't serious about stopping the virus.

“And so yes, one of the outstanding issues in this bill is that we think we need more funding for the states and municipalities that are on the front lines of fighting the virus. And yes, we don't think this bill will work, will work at job number one, which is stopping the public health crisis unless we provide ample funding.

“And yes, we are worried about the lack of conditionality on funding to big businesses, to Wall Street. Yes, we are worried about the fact that this is going to make rich people much richer, and at the same time not actually stopping the public health crisis. These are policy differences.

“And instead of coming down here and having show vote after show vote, we should be sitting together and trying to resolve differences that frankly, I don't think are so large that they can't be solved within the next several hours.

“And so I just hope that we understand that we are down here very frustrated because we worry that we're about to vote on a bill that is not going to solve the problem. That is a policy disagreement, but a policy disagreement that can be resolved.”

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