Durbin To McConnell: We Need To Do More To Help Struggling Americans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke about the importance of helping unemployed and uninsured Americans, hospitals and health clinics, state and local governments, and small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s partisan COVID-19 relief proposal that doesn’t provide adequate help to Americans in need. Durbin criticized the inclusion of a provision granting corporations federal liability immunity from lawsuits related to the pandemic, noting that it shields corporations from accountability for failing to follow a reasonable public health standard when it comes to protecting workers and customers.

“Senator McConnell has announced for months that nothing will move, nothing will help unemployed Americans or small businesses until he gets what he called his ‘red line’ proposal on liability immunity. Basically [they’ve written] a provision in this bill which absolves businesses from their responsibility to the public and to their employees when it comes to safety in the workplace and the marketplace… It is liability immunity, and an invitation for bad actors to do little or nothing in protecting innocent people, including their own employees,” Durbin said. “We can do better than what Senator McConnell is offering the Senate today. We can gather on a bipartisan basis and reach a compromise if he will attend the negotiations.”

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

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

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here. 

The House passed the Heroes Act, a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill, more than four months ago.