Democrats Mislead The Public On COVID Relief Legislation

In another untrue claim, a number of Democratic members on the Judiciary Committee, including Senator Leahy and Senator Harris, said that yesterday’s hearing should not be held and argued that the Senate should be focused on passing COVID-19 relief legislation instead.

However, it is Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democrats who are responsible for not allowing an assistance package to pass. Just last month, under the Speaker’s orders, Senate Democrats filibustered a relief bill that would have provided key aid to Americans:

  • Politico, 9/10/20: “Senate Democrats block Republican Covid-19 relief proposal”
  • NPR, 9/10/20: “Senate Democrats Block GOP’s $300 Billion Pandemic Relief Bill”
  • Fox News, 9/10/20: “McConnell accuses Dems of wanting to block relief until after election: ‘Their goal is clear'”

After Democrats said during yesterday’s hearing that they wanted to work on COVID-19 relief and blamed Republicans for the fact that it had not passed, Senator Mike Crapo set the record straight and explained how they were deliberately misleading the public on this issue:

SEN. MIKE CRAPO: So then the attack is, ‘well, the Republicans don’t care about people’s health, they won’t even try to get COVID relief out. We’re here in a hearing in the Judiciary Committee when we ought to be passing COVID relief legislation.’ I’ve heard several of my colleagues basically say, “the Republicans are refusing to work on helping to address the COVID crisis.’

This coming from colleagues who, just a month or so ago, voted unanimously to filibuster a 500 to 600 billion dollar COVID relief package in the Senate. A COVID relief  package — I asked my staff to get me a quick summary of it, that put, as I indicated, somewhere between 500 and 600 billion dollars into more small business loans, unemployment insurance, agriculture and farming assistance, postal service assistance, education assistance, both at the higher level education levels and at K-12,  health care assistance for a pandemic preparation for strategic stockpiles for testing, for contact tracing, billions for vaccine and therapeutic and diagnostic development, and the list goes on. We were stopped from proceeding with this legislation by a filibuster of those who now accuse us of not wanting to try to do something. We stand ready if you’ll simply let us go to the legislation and pass it.