Durbin Calls on Congress to Support President Biden's American Rescue Plan

Durbin also highlights the importance of providing resources to some of the poorest nations around the world so that they too can start vaccinating their population

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Senate to support President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which would deliver economic relief to American families and small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is a historic legislative package designed to change the course of the pandemic, get students back to school, give families and businesses a bridge to an economic recovery, and invest in advancing racial equity.

“In part of his [President Biden] request for the American Rescue Plan, which has come before the United States Senate and House of Representatives, in that request he spells out what he thinks are the priorities of this country and I believe he’s correct… there are some who argue, no we don’t need any more stimulus.  We’ve done all we need to do.  I have to disagree with that conclusion,” Durbin said.  “America is still recovering from the worst economic shock in living memory… We shouldn’t take our foot off the accelerator.  Businesses will find it difficult to survive and even open, and their employees will be without work.  We need to get this economy roaring back and that means making the investment that President Biden is asking for.”

During his speech, Durbin also spoke about his Support for Global Financial Institution Pandemic Response Act, which directs representatives from the United States to multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), to help developing countries as they fight COVID-19, ensuring financial support for a robust international response to the global public health pandemic.  Specifically, the legislation directs the Treasury Department to use its vote at the IMF to free up considerably more Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for member nations.  Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the IMF that can be used in economic crises.  An increased SDR allocation is a strategic way for the international community to extend a financial umbrella to poorer nations that comes at no cost to the American taxpayer. 

“By using these Special Drawing Rights, we provide resources to some of the poorest nations around the world so that they too can start vaccinating their population,” Durbin said.  “Let’s make certain that as we address this issue, we do it on a global basis.  I urge the Senate to support this measure as a way to not only do the right thing for our less fortunate brothers and sisters around the world, but as a way to help our own pandemic and economic recovery.”

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.