Durbin Calls For Senate To Pass Families First Coronavirus Response Act By Unanimous Consent Immediately

SPRINGFIELDU.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement about the need for the Senate to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by unanimous consent (UC) immediately:

“In light of the President’s emergency declaration, it is imperative that the Senate pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by unanimous consent (UC) immediately.

“The House passed this measure with a 90 percent bipartisan vote.  We should do the same by UC immediately and offer those who would vote no a chance to do so with Congressional Record entries.

“The FISA program can also be extended with Senator Lee’s proposal for a 45-day extension and future consideration of the House bill with six amendment votes.  That could all be done by UC as well.

“Given this pandemic, time is of the essence and we should not delay.

“Rightly so, Americans are changing our lifestyles to protect our families, our lives, and our communities from the threat of this pandemic.

“We have been warned to limit unnecessary travel and gathering in large groups.  Senators and staff are working to serve their states locally as best they can, and with unanimous consent for these measures there is no valid reason to force extra travel this week.

“Given the fact that we can and should pass the Coronavirus package, and any subsequent recommended bipartisan fixes to it, by UC immediately, your decision to call us back to Washington this week is unnecessary and puts many innocent people at risk.

“Demanding that those Senators not currently in self quarantine take unnecessary flights exposing themselves and others; requiring our staffs to return to the Capitol and then have all of us return to our families makes no sense in light of the President’s emergency declaration.

“Set an example for America, Senator McConnell.  Think about our staff, their families, and our constituents, as well as your Senate colleagues.”