With Federal Benefits Set To Expire This Month, Durbin Calls On Senator McConnell To Bring House-Passed House Heroes Act To The Floor

WASHINGTON – With enhanced unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of the month, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the House-passed Heroes Act to the floor for a vote in the Senate.  The House passed the Heroes Act more than nine weeks ago.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin called out Senate Republicans for their delay in acting on additional COVID-19 relief legislation while cases continue to spike in states across the country.

“Make no mistake, we are still in the midst of this pandemic.  COVID-19 is taking its toll on many parts of America,” Durbin said.  “Eight weeks ago, the House of Representatives did their measure, the Heroes Act, one which I think is sound in principle and I would have supported.  Senator McConnell has come to the floor regularly to say it’s so bad, it’s inadequate, it’s wrong.  And yet, we still don’t have a proposal from the Republicans, who are in the majority in the Senate, about what they would do to move forward from this point in the next COVID-19 bill… it’s been since March 26 that we’ve taken up any legislation on the subject and we knew this day would come.  Why did we wait until the last minute?”

Durbin also criticized Senator McConnell’s refusal to pass an additional COVID-19 relief bill unless corporations receive federal liability immunity from lawsuits related to the pandemic, noting that Republicans haven’t put forward an actual bill about the immunity they want to give corporations. 

“The notion of immunity for businesses by any standard that will not protect employees and customers is unacceptable,” Durbin said.  “It would not make America safe.  It would make the situation even worse.”

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.