Press Release ● Coronavirus
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined MSNBC’s "Morning Joe” this morning to discuss Senate Republicans’ inaction on the Heroes Act. Below are excerpts from his interview and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
"The President is urging that we go back to school. I think most Americans want their kids to get back to school, but they want them to go back safely, and they don't want them to be bringing COVID-19 back to the homes. That is all going to take resources, as so many of the people that you interviewed this morning say. What Mitch Mcconnell's response was: let the states go bankrupt. I suppose he's saying let the unemployment rolls grow, don't help families, don't invest more in testing and tracing and trying to prevent this disease from spreading even further than it has. This is a crisis, but the Republicans are twiddling their thumbs while Rome is essentially burning. That is mixed metaphors. The fact is the Senate should have acted weeks ago on their own program. They didn't think the Heroes Act was exactly what we needed, then they should have acted on their own. But they've been not acting, not working, considering judges so that they can make an ideological judiciary sympathetic to their point of view. But they have not been dealing with the crisis that confronts our people. We now have over 130,000 deaths, over three million people who have contracted this virus, and they ought to be acting. If they don't like our alternative, Willie, pass their own and let's see if we can make them compatible."
"…The President started this whole thing out with: this is a hoax. 130,000 plus people are dead because the President thought it was a hoax. Not directly attributable to the President's words, but certainly his inaction. We could have saved literally tens of thousands of lives had we acted decisively. But this President ignores the facts, ignores reality, conjures up his own reality, and fails to respond to real problems. That was true, you talked earlier today about the Russian situation where we had intelligence that said the Russians were paying people to kill our troops, and the President either did not want to know the information, knew the information and didn't want to act on it, and, for whatever reasons, his people did not want to act on it. Then this pandemic, which we are confronting, [Mitch] Mcconnell and [Kevin] Mccarthy in the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives said: no, let's wait, let's see what happens. Well, we see what has happened. It has gotten much, much worse."
"We've done our work. We've addressed what we think are the major problems [we are] confronting. That is, the resources for… state and local governments, investment in testing and tracing and making sure that PPE and other programs, unemployment insurance have been extended. But we still need to do more. As is evident by the realities on the ground, which the President ignores. And the President sets a terrible, terrible example. Your previous speaker just said, you know, we need to distance, distance, distance. What does the President do? He denies that in his actions and in his words."
"The Senate is not dealing with this as a crisis. We have dealt with it four times as a crisis in a bipartisan way where Republicans joined us in the House. We joined Republicans in the Senate to pass bills overwhelmingly that dealt with this issue. Why they have now all of a sudden decided, 'no, we don't need to do any further action, we can delay,’ is beyond me, and the American people have got to be extraordinarily frustrated and angry about the inaction in the United States Senate."