“Madam Speaker — Let’s recap a few of the headlines from the past several months:
“March 22: New York Times – Emergency Economic Rescue Plan in Limbo as Democrats Block Action
“April 9: NPR – Senate Democrats Block GOP Effort To Boost Small-Business Aid
- A week later, Nancy Pelosi appeared on the Late Show bragging about blocking the relief, while eating luxury ice cream. For reference, there were 22 million unemployed Americans at the time.
“August 3: CBS News – Democrats reject White House offer for short-term extension of unemployment benefit
“September 10: Politico – Senate Democrats block Republican Covid relief bill
“The facts speak for themselves: the common denominator in holding up relief for the American people is Speaker Pelosi.
“She spent the last several months stonewalling negotiations instead of working to solve problems.
“When her members revolted, she responded by recycling an unrelated liberal wishlist from her first bill.
“Now, at a time when 837,000 more Americans are filing for unemployment and small businesses are closing permanently, she is wasting Americans’ time on yet another multi-trillion dollar special-interest bailout that rewards K-Street, not Main Street.
“Today’s so-called compromise isn’t realistic or responsible. It’s the Pelosi Pipedream 2.0 — and it’s filled with the same radical, reckless, and ridiculous ideas as the first bill.
“Instead of prioritizing new money for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, it provides a massive tax break to millionaires and billionaires that is totally unrelated to the coronavirus.
“Instead of guaranteeing common sense protections against frivolous lawsuits for schools, small businesses, childcare, and churches, it gives amnesty, work visas, and taxpayer-funded stimulus checks to illegal immigrants.
“Instead of boosting jobs, it bails out the cannabis industry.
- In fact, it mentions cannabis more than it mentions jobs — even though jobs, not dispensaries, are going up in smoke.
“Instead of reopening the economy, it releases criminals into our communities.
- Democrats think the economy should be locked down, but they don’t think serial killers should be locked up.
“But the Speaker’s latest bill does have a few noteworthy differences from the original.
“At a time when the leftwing mobs are creating chaos in our cities, this bill unequivocally embraces the Left’s ‘defund the police’ agenda.
- In fact, it removes $600 million of emergency funding for state and local law enforcement and community-oriented policing that was in the first bill. Democrats actually believe the top priority of Congress is fewer cops and more criminals.
“Another striking difference is the tens of billions of dollars for public education to combat misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine — misinformation that Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Speaker Pelosi actively spread in public over the last few weeks.
“American families, workers, and small businesses will continue to pay the price for Democrats’ refusal to take this crisis seriously.
“It doesn’t have to be this way.
“As the past several months have proven, targeted and timely relief related to COVID hardship works.
“Instead of using Americans’ suffering as “leverage” to pass a socialist agenda, Congress should be working on getting the American people back to work safely and back to school safely.
“Republicans have spent months using every tool available to the minority to build on the CARES Act and get support to Main Street.
“This month, our efforts culminated in a discharge petition to re-open the Paycheck Protection Program, which has already saved 51 million jobs.
“The petition is being led by Ranking Member Steve Chabot and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. I want to thank both of them for their leadership.
“As of Friday, this commonsense solution officially became open for signatures. We need 218 to earn a vote on the floor.
“Madam Speaker — every Member of this body must make a choice tonight:
“Members who endorse the Speaker’s reckless actions can vote ‘yes’ on her recycled liberal wishlist. Then, they can go home and explain to small businesses in their district why they prioritized politics over people.
“But Members who want to bring an end to Speaker’s excuses — who believe this is a moment to work for Main Street, not K-Street — should vote ‘no’ and sign the Herrera Beutler-Chabot discharge petition.
“By adding your name, you will be advancing a fair process towards making bipartisan law for American families.
“That’s what our neighbors need. They need us to legislate for them, not posture for November.
“I urge all my Democrat colleagues to join us.
“I yield back.”