Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar delivered the following statement on the unconscionable inaction of Congressional Republicans, led by Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, in cooperating with Democrats to pass a COVID-19 relief bill as millions of Americans continue to suffer with the Christmas holidays fast approaching.
“We are now nine months into a pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of livelihoods. And instead of getting direct relief to struggling American families and the frontline workers helping to save lives, Republicans are fighting to defund the government and protect corporations from liability for their employees’ COVID-related injuries.
“Let’s remember how we got here: in the CARES Act, we got immediate relief to Americans weeks after the pandemic hit. This was supposed to be a start.
“In May, the House passed the HEROES Act to get Americans and local governments additional relief. Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise and Mitch McConnell all opposed it. For months, Mitch McConnell stonewalled the bill, insisting that his only priority was protecting corporations from putting their workers’ lives at risk during the pandemic. He literally laughed when confronted by his inaction on the stimulus.
“Americans have now gone 8 months without any relief, and the position of the Republican Party is that we should defund our firefighters, defund our frontline workers, not fund the distribution of the vaccine and provide no direct relief for American families. Then they have the gall to blame Democrats for the lack of action? This is the truest form of gaslighting.
“They always say they want money in people’s pockets. But they are literally trying to stop us from putting money in the pockets of millions of Americans. They talk about helping businesses—but they are literally blocking relief for small business owners and their workers.
“We know the outlines of a deal because we already passed one this year: survival checks for the American people, increased unemployment for people out of work, and funding for state and local services like firefighters and healthcare workers.
“This shouldn’t be hard.”