Durbin Highlights Senate Democrats' Priorities in Third Coronavirus Package

Senate Democrats continue fighting to address the public health crisis & put working families first

WASHINGTON – As negotiations continue on a third bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today, in a speech on the Senate floor, highlighted Senate Democrats work to include immediate, direct relief to working families and the health care sector amid the coronavirus pandemic.  On Saturday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) unveiled Senate Republicans’ partisan plan for a third coronavirus economic stimulus package, which puts corporations first and does not do nearly enough to address the current public health crisis.  Senator McConnell’s partisan coronavirus economic stimulus package twice failed to garner enough votes to move forward in the Senate.  Senate Democrats have been working with the White House to improve Senator McConnell’s partisan package by putting working families and the health care sector first.

“What are the items we’re now negotiating and where do they stand?  The first item, and we made it clear on the Democratic side that it is essential that we deal with the health care system across America,” Durbin said.  “The Democrats have said from day one that we want to make that the highest priority in this third bill – make sure we put money in there for hospitals and for health care workers to respond to this crisis.  I can tell you progress has been made since the negotiations between Senator Schumer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have been underway.”

Durbin continued, “We have made it our kind of standard on the Democratic side to make certain that we measure every proposal for economic recovery against the workers and working families of America.  Not what it does in the boardroom, but what it does in the family room of individual families who still get those bills in the mail and still face the pressures of being out of work and wondering if there’s enough money to get by… we should be dealing with this to help the workers, help the economy, but not to line the pockets of those who are at the highest levels of corporate governance.”

In his speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also urged President Donald Trump to continue the policy of social distance and to heed the experts’ advice when it comes to slowing the spread of coronavirus. 

“But now there’s a suggestion from the President that we may take a different course.  I don’t know what he will finally decide.  But I want to stand with the public health experts, Dr. Fauci and others, who believe that the best way to slow the growth of this infection rate in our country is by using some form of social distance, isolation of individuals and families,” Durbin said.  “It is a great personal sacrifice and burden for many families to go through this.  I know.  But if at the end of the day, we could reduce the number of people who suffer or die from this virus, it is worth the sacrifice as far as I’m concerned.”

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

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