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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), spoke on the Senate floor today calling for her Democrat colleagues to stop delaying passage of a major COVID-19 relief package. In the speech, Senator Fischer addresses numerous wish-list demands congressional Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are trying to add to emergency relief legislation. These include tax credits for solar and wind energy, same-day voter registrations, canceling the debt of the United States Postal service, and automatic visa extensions for foreign workers. These unrelated demands do not address the coronavirus crisis at hand. Senator Fischer urged both sides to work productively to bring relief to the American people.
Transcript from today’s speech as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, yesterday I came to the floor to talk about the need to provide relief for families across this country who are hurting because of the coronavirus crisis.
I said that people are frightened, they are stressed, and they are looking to us to take action.
Many people have lost their jobs.
Many are watching their hard-earned savings evaporate.
Many don’t know when they will be able to go back to work.
Here in this body, my colleagues and I are trying to move forward on a bill that would provide relief to individuals, to families, to small and medium sized businesses, and to our agriculture producers.
Our bill would help stabilize our economy in this downturn.
The Senate bill offers reasonable, sorely needed solutions that will help families.
And yet while the anxiety and frustration around this country rises, the other side is obstructing and delaying the relief the American people need.
Mr. President, let’s look at what’s happening here, and on the other side of this building.
House Democrats ceased bipartisan negotiations on a COVID-19 relief package so that they could write their own bill.
And what are the provisions that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats think are critical right now, during a crisis of unprecedented proportions like we have never seen before?
A wish list that many of my colleagues have spoken about.
A wish list that has nothing to do with the crisis at hand.
Nothing to save lives.
No serious new effort to provide relief.
Yesterday I also spoke about the fact that in our bill we have relief for agriculture.
The only effort to provide relief for ag producers and it was facing a Democrat effort to be removed from the bill.
I don't often agree with the chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, but she was right when she said recently in an interview with the Hill that Democrats don't have a plan for rural America.
According to the article, she said that Democrats only address people in rural communities when they show up in Iowa to campaign for votes.
To the hardworking men and women of rural America I say to you: take note.
Take note on who recognizes your vital role in our country and who is fighting for you.
People are sick and they are scared.
As of this morning, my home state of Nebraska now has 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Addressing these Democrat priorities won’t help our health care workers who are on the frontlines of the fight against this virus.
It won’t help our small businesses who might have to lay people off or shut their doors for good if they don’t get this assistance.
It doesn’t help our ag producers in Nebraska and across the Heartland who are working tirelessly to feed the world during these tough times.
I’ll say again what I said yesterday.
We don’t have a lot of time here.
I urge my colleagues on the other side to save the debate on their wish list issues for another day.
Today, let’s give the American people what they need.
Relief for the families who are at home caring for their children and doing everything they can to make ends meet.
Relief for our amazing health care workers and community hospitals who are combating this disease, caring for their patients, and saving lives.
Relief for small Main Street businesses – the backbone of America – that make our communities vibrant and prosperous.
Let’s give all of these great Americans the critical relief to help carry them through this crisis.
I urge my colleagues on both sides to work in a productive way to get this next phase of relief passed and send it to the president’s desk as soon as possible.
Thank you, Mr. President, I yield the floor.