WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) partisan COVID-19 relief proposal as “half-hearted” and “half-inspired,” and spoke about the importance of helping unemployed and uninsured Americans, hospitals and health clinics, state and local governments, and small businesses amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Durbin also urged Leader McConnell to start negotiating in good faith – as the Senate did in March when it passed the CARES Act – with Congressional Democrats on a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that provides meaningful assistance to Americans in need.

“If this is a real pandemic, if we want to believe the public health experts whom the President has called ‘idiots,’ like Dr. Anthony Fauci… if we want to believe the public health experts, we need to address this in a serious manner as we did last March in passing the CARES Act,” Durbin said. “This is not the time for people to cover their back sides politically. It’s a time where the American people need our help more than ever. A half-hearted, half-inspired effort to do this will not answer the call.”

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Durbin concluded, “We need to stand as a nation on a bipartisan basis. How does it start? It starts when Democrats and Republicans sit at the same table, which has not happened. It starts when we agree, both parties agree, on what the priorities must be. And it starts when we stop the speeches and start with real action to pass legislation like the CARES Act, which passed with 96-0 on the floor. It is time to take this deadly virus and epidemic seriously.”

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

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

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

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