Durbin: We Must Pass the American Rescue Plan

Durbin also vows to continue push to raise the minimum wage

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on his Senate colleagues 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. Durbin slammed Republicans for pushing harmful cuts to the bill, which would not help those in need.

“What's going on in this chamber? Have we decided now since we have a new President of a different political faith that the other side cannot support efforts to increase the amount of money for vaccines and distribution across America? To send a cash payment to families that are struggling to get by? To give unemployment benefits to millions of Americans where those benefits are scheduled to run out in just two weeks?” Durbin said. “Where is the Republican support? Democrats were there for the Trump plan. The Republicans aren't there for the Biden plan.”

During his speech, Durbin also spoke about his support for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour to help more families make ends meet, expand economic opportunity, and help build an economy that works for all families, not just the wealthiest few. 

“America has relied on minimum-wage workers to do the hard work and dangerous work in the pandemic. You want to know the real pandemic heroes? You want to reduce poverty and raise opportunity in America? Pay workers a living wage. Allow workers to share the economic prosperity they are creating with their dedication and labor,” Durbin said.  “At this moment we may not have a path, but I hope we can find one. It is time for us to raise the minimum wage, to give the American workers the real wage they need to survive, and to show that we really do value the dignity of work.”

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.