“On the Senate side they [introduced] a bill. Remember, our whole government is designed to have compromise, you’ve got a Senate and you’ve got a House, nobody is going to get 100% of what they want.
“For those who say they can only have 100% — [America] is not designed to work that way. The [Democratic] House passed… a $3 trillion bill, which is a lot of money but more importantly, it would mention ‘cannabis’ more than it mentions ‘research’ or ‘jobs’ and a lot of the items in there are like a wish-list… Things they all wanted politically before we even had COVID-19.
“We should really focus. If we want to help America get through this pandemic, we should structure [the relief package to focus on] public health and economics.
“Government told businesses to shut down [and now] people are out of work, so I think we have a responsibility to help [be the] bridge for small business, [be the] bridge for individuals. So unemployment insurance will be very important, but I’m not one who believes one-size-fits-all in unemployment insurance. I believe that’s a place we can work together. I think that is one of the drivers that will help us get there.
“Also, liability protection — we know what trial lawyers will do. We know that small businesses may make a decision not to open again if they will just be sued. We know schools, counties, and cities will be sued. So can we give a liability protection from 2019 into 2024?
“Because every day we learn something new about this virus, things we thought before were not true because China lied to us, so let’s give people the protection that we can move on and let’s continue to advance.
“Those out of work, let’s help them bridge the gap. Those small businesses, [the Paycheck Protection Program] was a very big success but states are shutting down again… there is still more than $1.2 trillion that we’ve appropriated that is sitting out there that hasn’t gone into the economy, more than $100 billion more for states. Could we make that for flexible to get down to every city and county?
“Six hundred dollars probably goes further in Bakersfield than New York, the country is much different. So if each state pays different unemployment, couldn’t we put a percentage of what the state pays and add it from the federal government instead of $600 across the board?
“I have heard from people that have a hard time that want to bring [employees] back. I heard from a small business today, they took the PPP loan and… they’re worried they can’t get the people back and that now it’s going to become a loan instead of a grant…
“At that moment in time when COVID-19 was coming upon us we were trying to make a quick bridge and had to put a bill quickly. Now that we have more information, why don’t we write a bill with the latest data and information to help the most in this process of going forward for the economy and for [the public’s] health?”
“[And] why wouldn’t we put in tax proposals… to bring the supply chain back to America? If companies are retooling and looking longer term, take the opportunity to make it happen.
“Why don’t we change the national stockpile? Government shouldn’t just go and stockpile something and hope that if something happens in ten years it hasn’t expired. Let’s modernize it, let’s go to the businesses like 3M and tell them to build an extra million masks and resell those every single year.
“And then let’s go to all of our allies and tell them they should do it here as well… [With] Amazon and others, you could get the product in 24 hours, but also these companies know how to store it properly and not allow it to expire.”