WASHINGTON U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for referring to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan as a ‘grand socialist experiment.’ In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin walked through the key components of the American Rescue Plan—which passed Congress in March without a single Republican vote—including funding for COVID-19 vaccines and distribution, small businesses, and working families.

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“So what was in this ‘socialist experiment?’ Well, the premier piece was to make sure that we distributed COVID-19 vaccines to every American. Some people think that’s socialism. I think it’s common sense… How about the aid we gave to small businesses to stay open or reopen? That was in the American Rescue Plan. That was [President] Biden’s plan. There was not a single Republican vote for it,” Durbin said. “Money to help businesses to reopen is socialism? Is that what the Senator from Kentucky is suggesting?”

Durbin also highlighted that included in the American Rescue Plan was a provision to expand the Child Tax Credit for working families. Starting today, families with children under six will now receive up to $300 per child per month, and families with children ages 6 to 17 will now receive up to $250 per child per month for 2021. In Illinois, the expanded Child Tax Credit will benefit 2.5 million children, and lift 338,000 children above or closer to the poverty line.

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“If we really value families, we’re going to invest in their future. And the money that’s being sent starting today [expanded Child Tax Credit] to these families will lift half of the children in poverty in America out of poverty for the first time. That is a dramatic achievement,” Durbin said. “It should be a bipartisan achievement. Sadly, it is a democratic achievement because Republicans boycotted the vote.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

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