Press Release ● Coronavirus
For Immediate Release: 
July 23, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC -- House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning to discuss Republicans’ failure to respond to the coronavirus crisis and the urgent need for Senate action on the Heroes Act, which passed the House two months ago. Below are excerpts from his interview and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.
“We passed a bill over two months ago to respond to the needs that we saw in America for a lot of different sectors of our country, including state and local governments, tribal governments and territories; including hospital, testing, and tracing so that we could get a handle on this virus; and payments to individuals, individual families, and businesses. That has been ignored for essentially two months. Now, at the last minute as the unemployment insurance is about to lapse at the end of this month, the Administration is now coming forward, McConnell is now coming forward. Of course, Senator McConnell, the leader in the Senate, said let the states go bankrupt. The problem with that, of course, is [that] the states hire many of the essential personnel that are confronting this virus and trying to keep our economy going. My governor, a Republican governor, and Governor Cuomo have said the states need $500 billion to meet the money that they’ve lost as a result of the virus, as a result of the hemorrhaging of revenues. That’s true in cities and counties as well. My response to [Secretary] Mnuchin is you're late to the table. We're glad you're at the table, but it is time to make a deal and get something moving. If the Senate doesn't agree with the Heroes bill that we passed two months ago, which we think… met the needs that were critically important, come up with your own alternative. The problem is the Senate has come up with no alternative.”

“…This is the 17th or 18th week in a row of over one million people going on unemployment. This is a crisis, and… Republicans are reacting as if it's a long-term decision they may or may not make at some time in the future. I'm glad the negotiations have begun, but we need to get them done quickly, and we need to get them done not just on unemployment, as some have suggested. That is critically important, but it is also critically important to have the kind of PPE and medical testing capability to get at this disease and stop this disease. Because until we stop this disease, we're going to continue to hemorrhage in our economy. We need a broad-based bill, not a narrow bill.”

“If [Secretary Mnuchin] wants to negotiate some alternative figures, fine, put them on the table. Let's talk about them. But don't keep twiddling your thumbs while the American people are burning from a virus and a tanking economy. Apparently… but he talked about the President doesn't want to give money to the states and localities because they've been mismanaged. The most mismanaged government in America today is the federal government under the Trump Administration, period.”

“We need the Heroes bill to pass, and if it's not exactly the way we passed it, so be it. That's the legislative process. But they have for two months dissembled; for two months delayed; for two months created this crisis that we are now confronting at the end of this month. It's time to get this done. Our Speaker is at the table. [Senator] Schumer is at the table. But, very frankly, it was very late coming forward for the Administration and the United States Senate. It's late, but it's never too late to do the right thing. We are prepared to move ahead with serious negotiations.”