Durbin Statement on Bipartisan COVID-19 White House Meeting

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding today’s bipartisan White House virtual meeting with Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, and bipartisan members of the Senate where they discussed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package:

“Today’s meeting made clear that the Biden Administration’s top legislative priority is passing the American Rescue Plan.  It’s refreshing and long overdue to have the President, Vice President, and White House fully engaged in addressing this pandemic with a focus on science and federal leadership. 

“We continue to be in the midst of a national emergency, and families and small businesses across the country need our help now.  That means a national vaccination program, additional testing, mobilizing a public health jobs corps, and taking other necessary steps to build capacity to fight the virus.  We also need to provide the resources necessary to ensure schools can safely reopen, extend unemployment insurance, provide support to our state and local governments, and finish the job of providing families direct relief. 

“The bipartisan package that passed Congress in December was a down payment.  President Biden’s plan is needed to get the virus under control and prevent lasting damage to our economy.  In the spirit of unity that we saw on the West Front of the Capitol on Wednesday, the Senate must come together on a bipartisan basis and provide the resources the American people need to survive this pandemic and this lengthy financial hardship.”