Durbin Calls on McConnell to Bring $2,000 Direct Payment Measure to the Floor for a Vote

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Senate Republicans to support the House-passed CASH Act, a measure that would increase direct payments from $600 to $2,000 for individuals earning less than $75,000 per year.  The measure passed the House yesterday by a vote of 275-134, with 44 House Republicans supporting the bill.  Durbin also spoke about his frustration with President Donald Trump’s delay in signing the final COVID-19 emergency relief package, which passed Congress last week. 

“Unfortunately, the President delayed in signing the bill and creating needless uncertainty in America, particularly among the unemployed and others suffering from this economic and health crisis,” Durbin said.  “… One of the most widely discussed measures of the COVID-19 relief bill was the second round of economic impact payments.  Just yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the CASH Act… the head of the Federal Reserve, Chairman Powell, has really instructed us to keep the foot on the accelerator so that our economy doesn’t slump into a recession.  At a time when so many American families are laid off, unemployed, and simply struggling to get by, there is nothing more invigorating to the economy than to have a cash infusion.” 

Durbin continued, “By passing this enhanced measure, we could restore the American public’s confidence in Washington, and the fact that we are listening and working together on a bipartisan basis to respond.  This measure that passed the House of Representatives has the support of the President, Speaker Pelosi, House Democrats, as well as many House Republicans.  Leader Schumer and my Senate Democratic colleagues support it.  So I hope Senator McConnell, the Republican Leader, and his colleagues in the Republican caucus will join us to pass this bill quickly this week.”

In his speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also reiterated his disappointment that funding for state and local governments was not included in the final COVID-19 emergency relief package. 

“One of the most important items that Congress failed to reach an agreement on was funding for state and local governments.  States and localities are struggling due to increased costs and decreased revenues due to the pandemic.  By this summer, my home state of Illinois will have lost more than $5 billion in revenues.  I can tell you that that’s going to cause pain and cutbacks,” Durbin said.  “I certainly hope that the next President, who will be sworn in on January 20, will take this up as one of his highest priorities.”

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.