U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi on Coronavirus Economic Aid... CSPAN December 21, 2020 10:00am-10:25am EST
i associate myself with your comments and that of our chaplain, father conroy, that it is appropriate to start today with a prayer every day, but especially a day when we are seeing over 300,000 and the number getting higher of americans who are dying from the coronavirus. we hope, because there is a vaccine, we have hope because we have a president who recognizes science and again the need for us to distribute the vaccine in the most equitable and fair and free way. that president, i mean the one who will take office a month from now, joe biden. i do want to speak to the bill that will be on the floor shortly. it is a good bipartisan bill. it does as different from bills
that have been proposed on the senate side by the republican leader. it does things that his bill never did. and that is it addresses the food needs of the american people. maybe 15 million children are food insecure in our country. and adults as well. millions of families on the verge of eviction. and this legislation addresses the rental needs and short-term moratorium, we can accept the short term because we'll have a new president during the length of that moratorium to extend it further. f necessary. we also have in the legislation direct payments between -- which are not in the republican bill to america's working families. i would like them to have been bigger, but they are significant and they will be going out soon. the president may insist on having his name on the check,
but make no mistake, those checks are from the american people. the american people's name should be on that check. no individual. because that is the source of he resources for those checks. tax-paying americans. in addition to that, the list goes on of some of the very positive things that are on the bill. quite frankly some of them did not come to agreement until yesterday. whether we are talking about wrda, the water resources development act, a big jobs bill, had bipartisan support, but some disagreement over language. by the time that was resolved it pushed the bill from coming to the floor later. we didn't have at the start of the day sick leave that is in the bill. almost $2 billion for sick
leave. it didn't have the eitc, the earned income tax credit for working poor people to have that boost as well as the child tax credit. did not have the employment retention tax credit. bipartisan support, wrda and on that, and then we came to agreement not only on the language, but where that initiative would be placed. many of these things need to be precisely written and assembled in order for a bill to come to the floor, which we anticipate will be pretty soon this morning. one of the things that's disappointing, because for a long time now our house democrats and senate have been saying we want to crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the american people, and the
title of our bill before, honor our heroes. our state and local workers who are on the frontline. when we talk about those on the frontline, our heroes, necessary meeting and crushing this virus, we are talking about health care workers in cities, counties, and states. we are talking about first responders, police and fire. some first on the scene to help someone with the coronavirus. we are talking about our teachers, our teachers, our teachers. custodians of our children for a large part of the day. we are talking about our transportation, sanitation, food workers. those who make our lives possible. i think it would be interesting to point out that as enthusiastic as we are about the p.p.p. provisions in this bill, we all support them in a bipartisan way, it's important to note that small businesses,
i always say there is nothing more optimistic than starting a small business, maybe getting married, but the optimism, the hope, the dream that people ve is completely, shall we assault of d by the this virus. that's why we had to start by crushing the virus. we didn't do it. we couldn't pass legislation until now because the administration simply did not believe in testing, tracing, treatment, wearing masks, sanitation, separation, and the rest. scientific approach. it becomes clear to us now that they believed in herd immunity, crockery, springing right from the oval office. and not denied sufficiently by some of the c.d.c. and the
rest. now we have a vaccine. and that gives us hope. a vaccine that is -- springs from science. people say around here sometimes i'm faith-oriented so i don't believe in science. i said you can do both. science is an answer to our prayers. and our prayers have been answered with a vaccine. this legislation we had ovision for it to be developed, purchased, and distributed in a way, again, that is fair and equitable and free. what we couldn't get even with the previous legislation just on testing, efforts, it was the adequate language to recognize that this coronavirus has taken a terrible toll on our whole country. more so among people of color.
more people have died from the coronavirus, people of color, fewer child who was hispanic you had an eight times more chance of going to the hospital because of the coronavirus than a white child. if you are african-american, that's five times chance more of going to the hospital because of the coronavirus. now we have a vaccine that we hope will reach everyone as oon as possible. what i'm heartbroken about about this bill, though, is while we make an attempt to crush the virus, we don't do it adequately enough in terms of recognizing the toll on people of color, but we will have to do that in a public sentiment of it and the demands that we make on governors and others who are in charge of the distribution. but we put money in the pockets of american people. we want to do more.
nonetheless, you are meeting the deadline, december 26, when unemployment insurance, which was vital. the third thing, honoring our heroes. as i said earlier, health care workers, first responders, police and fire, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers. we just decided that while they are on the frontline, while they are risking their lives to save lives, many of the health care workers and police and testimony of them could lose their jobs. many of them have already lost their lives. many have lost their jobs. so why is it that this congress and this white house refuses to cognize the value, contribution, the sacrifice of heroes, our
people on the frontline. it's interesting, i think, to note that when we passed -- we passed a number of bills in a bipartisan way, and we'll pass this one today. in the course of that, the cares act and follow-up on the p.p.p. bill, and this bill now, are approaching $1 trillion that we are putting out for p.p.p. if that is what is needed an spent effectively, that's a worthy expendage. almost $1 trillion. will over $750,000. this bill alone over $300 billion. so we have p.p.p. now, in order for the private sector to function, in order for us to live our lives, we
need to have the public sector, public transportation, public schools, public health. the list goes on. . it's about people, people who are doing the jobs. again, risking their lives to they lose their life and maybe lose their job. have lost their lives. many more have, of course, lost their jobs. approaching $1ly p.p.p., small he business, which i support all way, and $150 billion or and localon for state government. sectornables the private to function. which enables us to crush the virus. enables us to meet the people.
billion, $160 billion from well over $1 billion. want to give n't money to blue states where the coronavirus is. in red states, too. knows no o border, it party, this vicious virus. but somehow other republicans said to our heroes, our health care workers, our our transportation, our police and fire and the workers, so ion food, you food, food, support orthy of because, perhaps you are in a blue state predominantly, and, we undervalue your contribution to our society, to
and especially now as we try to minister to the needs of people in this crisis, who do you into ahese vaccines come state, they go from the lab to your arm magically? no. they have to be received, and ibuted, administered done so fairly, equitably and free. going to do ink is hose jobs if you don't respect state and local government in all of this? don't think about it as government. people.out it as think about yourself needing all of that. see would hope that as we the need for what we have done n this nearly $900 billion legislation that we'll vote on
today that everyone understands a first step. it's a first step, as biden has said. it's a first step. we will need to do more. to to get virus assistance crush the virus. more money to buy vaccines. e need to have the defense production act in play to hasten he manufacturing of these vaccines. and we need to be able to, as i done.o get the job and that takes people. respected.need to be valued.rk needs to be and -- again, and their entities for whom -- under whose auspices work -- public hospitals, all the rest.
important.on, so and yet, many of our teachers have lost their jobs. weneed more teachers because need more space to separate to, protect our children. the ways said, if you want economy to open up and you want up, you musto open crush the virus. precautions sohe that people are not in jeopardy they --go to work or if when they go to school. chools should be the safest places in america. should be the safest places in for our children. nd they can be if science is espected and if the mask wearing, distancing and the rest. but you need more space, you as better ventilation, bobby scott tells us over and ver, and you need more
teachers. big mistake. the republicans said, well, you can get a small amount. in any way roaching the p.p.p. again, no resentment there. we support that. the recognition that that is important should also recognize the sector of our economy that supports the private sector recognized. and so on that score, you come where, how could only have $160 billion for state and local, approachinge nearly 1 trillion for p.p.p., not recognizing that the private connected to the public sector? now, one more point on that. said, you can have some
money for state and local. it will be how distributed. f you do surrender the rights of workers. in other words, just in case know, there are essential workers who are to go to work. f they don't, because they're concerned about a danger to their health and the health of their families, because the not safe, they cannot go on unemployment insurance. if they go to work and virus, they had no recourse because that's the way republicans wanted. hat's the way the republicans wanted. so anti-worker. measure, just od for good measure, they have aspects of thein civil rights act, the americans
fair isabilities act, labor standards act, osha. the list goes on. section 42 of their heinous all of the ll of actions that cannot be taken. when i asked one of the senators, where does he a.d.a. -- preventing the a.d.a. to honor its response -- disabilities act to honor its responsibilities, have the why don't i chamber of commerce call you and tell you? don't waste my time or the chamber's time about why the a.d.a. should not be enforced because of the virus? this is coronavirus centric. we could find a compromise on liability. virus. time of the and in a way that is fair to those employers who want to protect their
workers.nd to the they decided they would turn it massive, long-term, ev liability.assing just so wrong to work with. that's not what our system is about. nonetheless, still thought to find a y compromise. we couldn't. absolute. just call the chamber of commerce. they'll tell you why they can't workers.needs of their back to t -- getting the money. p.p.p.a trillion $160 -- and not even giving the localities the flexibility to the bility for addressing covid needs but also the revenue loss. even the republican governors flexibility. but they wouldn't give it to us
then and they wouldn't give it for fear that some blue state governor might -- mayor, county executive might take advantage of that. never done enough for localities. made. the pitch we have that's what we had in the heroes act. no -- no market for that on the republican side of the aisle. it's a first step, let us embrace it. let us thank know, od chuck schumer was able to dismantle in part the toomey resolution that would tie the a president to meet the american people and exercising by ection 133 of the national
reserve -- federal reserve board. we got past that, which took a long time. i thought wednesday night we finished. this monstrosity reared its head the next morning. effectively was able to fix it. not have -- should been initiated, but nonetheless, me -- in a way -- excuse leader schumer, in a way that nabled us to go forward, and that's why it's taken us this long to get here in these last days. so, again, i look forward to nita lowey bringing legislation as the chair of the appropriations committee. this will be her last bill on the floor. last bill for he many of us here, but her as chair of the appropriations committee. and her staff, chris, and so chairs ers, all of our did such a remarkable job and
so much ffs deserve credit for all of this and, good withwill do some this legislation, but we must that more needs to be done to crush the virus, to put pockets of thehe american people, from the american eople to the fill in nd, again, to he gap that has been purposefully left to honor our heroes. that, as we review policy and legislation and just ation and all that, always have in our hearts every ingle one of the people who have died from the coronavirus. it can be stopped. can be crushed. is a at is a decision, it decision and decision to
ecognize where it is hurting people the most. so with that, i invite -- i look strong bipartisan vote today on this legislation, it for what it does, not judging it for what it does recognizing that more needs to be done. all , with high praise for of our chairs and, again, of madam cognition chair nita lowey for her last bill on the floor, i say to them, all the so hard. worked again, it all comes back to amilies who lost their loved ones, those who became -- illions and millions of people who were infected, some more seriously than others. know the after-effects it may have. we have know that hope, we have a vaccine, and we
have a president coming into believes in science nd cares about people and recogniz ofognizes -- values the work our first responders and health us. workers, etc., do with so madam chair, prayerfully, as ou began -- as our chaplain egan, prayerfully i close my remarks, assuring for whatever it's worth, there's many that this body and respect the american people have had a the family because of so many people who have lost ones and we have all >> the u.s. house has reached a deal on a $the00 billion coronavirus economic aid package that will be a part of 2021 federal spending. details are still being hammered out. govern