WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the COVID-19 anniversary:
“A year ago, coronavirus cases were beginning to climb on U.S. soil. Shutdown measures were starting to take effect.
“Americans have endured one of the strangest and most painful years in living memory.
“Nearly two million Americans have been hospitalized with serious cases of the virus. More than half a million have lost their lives. Millions of students and workers have had their lives thrown off course.
“But these dark times have also spotlighted some of the best of America.
“Heroism. Selflessness. Ingenuity.
“Last March, the night we passed the CARES Act without a single dissenting vote, I said we’d see a new generation of American heroes. And so we have.
“Doctors and nurses and first responders have worked tirelessly to help fellow Americans.
“Essential workers kept manning their posts and prevented economic collapse.
“Neighbors looked out for neighbors and small businesses shifted gears almost overnight.
“Children and parents have fought to adapt to extraordinary disruptions.
“And incredible heroes in lab coats — in America and worldwide — worked at light speed to decode this new enemy and create life-saving vaccines in record time.
“Today, together, we’re standing on the cusp of a new springtime for our country not like anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.
“More than 95 million vaccine doses have reached American arms. Another 2 million every day.
“COVID-related deaths have plummeted, now less than half of their high, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable.
“Science reaffirms kids can be safe in the classroom, right now.
“States are starting to lift blanket restrictions, freeing citizens and small businesses to follow smart precautions themselves.
“And for weeks, every indicator has suggested our economy is poised to come roaring back, with more job openings for Americans who need work.
“None of these trends began on January 20th. President Biden and this Democratic government inherited a tide that had already begun to turn toward decisive victory.
“In 2020, Congress passed five historic bipartisan bills to save our health system, protect our economic foundations, and fund Operation Warp Speed to find vaccines. Senate Republicans led the bipartisan CARES Act that got our country through the last year.
“The American people already built a parade that’s been marching toward victory. Democrats just want to sprint to the front of that parade and claim credit.
“So, when 10 Republican Senators went to the White House to suggest working together, Democrats said no. Both the Democratic Leader and the White House Chief of Staff now indicate they think President Obama’s problem was that he was too bipartisan!
“This time, as one journalist put it, the situation was: ‘Dems to GOP: Take it or leave it.’
“The ‘it’ was a bill that only sent about 1% went to vaccines and about 9% to the entire health fight.
“The rest of the tab went to things like:
“A $350 billion bailout for state and local budgets unrelated to pandemic needs, with strings attached to stop states from cutting taxes on their citizens down the road…
“Massive federal school funding spread over several years without requiring quick reopening…
“Sweeping new government benefits with no work requirements whatsoever — a time warp to the bad times before bipartisan welfare reform — which Democrats already say they want to make permanent…
“And agricultural assistance conditioned not on specific financial need, but solely on the demographics of the farmer — which some liberal activists are celebrating as ‘reparations.’
“Only about 20% of the spending went to the $1,400 direct checks, to try and keep all the unrelated socialism out of the spotlight.
“This wasn’t a bill to finish off the pandemic. It was a multi-trillion-dollar Trojan horse full of bad, old, liberal ideas. President Biden’s own staff keep calling this legislation ‘the most progressive bill in American history.’
“Hardly the commonsense bipartisanship that he promised.
“So we pause today, at the one-year mark, to remember and mourn. But we also look with great optimism toward the future.
“2021 is set to be an historic comeback year. Not because of far-left legislation that was passed after the tide had already turned. But because of the resilience of the American people.”
SOURCE Mitch McConnell
PHOTO CREDIT: sergio santos
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