On Senate Floor: Shaheen Urges Senate Leadership to Work With Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers to Pass Critically Needed COVID Relief
**Shaheen’s floor remarks follow introduction of a new COVID-19 relief framework she revealed last week with a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers**
Senator Shaheen calls on Senate leadership to deliver relief to struggling Granite Staters and Americans by acting on a new COVID-19 emergency relief framework she introduced with a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers. Shaheen’s full remarks can be viewed in full here.
(Washington, DC) – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called on Senate leadership to deliver overdue and urgently needed relief to struggling Granite Staters and Americans by acting on a new COVID-19 emergency relief framework she introduced last week with a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers. In her remarks, Shaheen underscored the widespread consequences and impact of this crisis, highlighted the comprehensive assistance her emergency relief framework contains for small businesses, states and local communities, vaccine distribution efforts and more and urged lawmakers to put their differences aside, come together and move forward on this proposal.
Shaheen’s full remarks can be viewed in full here.
Over the past several weeks, the devastating impact of the pandemic has continued to escalate in communities across the nation. Shaheen emphasized the dire reality of the current situation, stating, “More than 15 million Americans have been infected with the virus. More than 285,000 Americans have now died from COVID. We recently hit a new record-high of 102,000 people hospitalized with COVID. And just to provide some context: our largest city in New Hampshire is Manchester. It has 112,000 residents. So we have enough people in the hospital across this country to fill the city of Manchester… Every one of those numbers that I’ve referenced is much more than a number: it reflects an American life. An American family. Our communities.”
She noted the severe strain of the pandemic on the nation’s small businesses, transportation network, families, many of which are struggling to put food on the table, and state and local governments, which have seen their budgets severely depleted as a result of COVID’s financial impact. She then continued by highlighting the new bipartisan, bicameral framework she introduced to provide emergency relief to communities impacted by this crisis. It contains:
- Funding for unemployment insurance
- Rental assistance and an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums
- Nutrition assistance to help families put food on the table
- New funding for small businesses, including a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program
- Assistance to help state and local communities address massive revenue shortfalls that threaten their ability to provide essential services to residents
- Additional relief for health care providers on the frontlines of this crisis
- Urgently needed resources for vaccine distribution, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing
Shaheen referenced the bipartisan, good-faith work of the Senate during the early days of the crisis, which was instrumental towards delivering the CARES Act that provided relief to the American people. “We did it before and I believe we can do it again… This bipartisan framework is the only bipartisan measure in Congress. It’s the only bicameral measure in Congress. It’s the only proposal that has an opportunity to clear both houses… This is a compromise – this doesn’t have everything I want to see… but it is a compromise that I believe we can get majority support to pass.”
She concluded, “Inaction is really not an option. I urge Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer to move forward with us, to help us get this proposal over the line so that together we can deliver much-needed relief to Americans and do it before the holiday season so that people will have something to look forward to.”