12.17.20

Peters Delivers Floor Remarks on Urgent Need to Pass Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief

“We need to once again work together to pass another round of help. We’ve done it before and we did it when case counts were far lower than they are now. We need to summon the same urgency again. We must come together by the end of this week and pass meaningful - bipartisan - and comprehensive COVID relief.”

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today spoke on the Senate floor on the need for the Senate to come together to pass urgent bipartisan COVID-19 relief to support small businesses, workers, families and health care providers suffering from the ongoing pandemic. In his remarks, Peters emphasized the need for bipartisanship and how the Senate can only achieve progress on pandemic relief and other key priorities by working together across the aisle.

“This past year, I’m proud to say we’ve worked together to advance legislation on priorities that not only address the pandemic – but also tackle issues facing Michiganders and people across this country each and every day,” said Senator Peters. “We must prove to the American people that bipartisan negotiation is not a relic of the past… Let us work together to get things done. Our constituents demand that of us. And this week we can start with a bipartisan COVID relief bill that makes a difference to everyone suffering through this pandemic.”

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You can download video of Senator Peters’ remarks by clicking here. 

Below are Senator Peters’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“2020 has been a year of immense challenges. We’re in the middle of an unprecedented economic and public health crisis. Small businesses have been forced to shutter or are barely staying afloat. Workers are out of jobs through no fault of their own – folks are stressed about feeding their families and keeping a roof over their heads. Health care workers are exhausted – pressed to their breaking points from caring for COVID patients.

“But thankfully – there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the recent FDA vaccine emergency use authorization – Michiganders and Americans are finally starting to receive much-needed reinforcements to combat – and control – this virus.

“Although there is light at the end of the tunnel – we know the next 2 to 3 months are going to be difficult. We cannot let our guard down. We must continue to wear a mask – practice social distancing – and wash our hands. We all can – and must – play an important role in defeating this virus – and we can do it if we work together.

“M. President – working together is the key to get through this pandemic.

“We know what happens when we work together here in this Chamber. Early on in this pandemic, we worked together to pass the CARES Act – which provided vital resources and support to keep families and workers afloat. We worked together to pass additional aid for small businesses, testing, health care providers and hospitals.

“And right now – we NEED to once again work together to pass another round of help. We’ve done it before and we did it when case counts were far lower than they are now. We need to summon the same urgency again. We must come together by the end of this week and pass meaningful – bipartisan – and comprehensive COVID relief.

“We must prove to the American people that bipartisan negotiation is not a relic of the past. As I talk to Michiganders each and every day, the message is clear – they want us to put partisan politics aside and solve the very real challenges confronting our country.

“Finding common ground and bringing people together has always been my approach to serving the people of Michigan and this nation.

“This past year, I’m proud to say we’ve worked together to advance legislation on priorities that not only address the pandemic – but also tackle issues facing Michiganders and people across this country each and every day.

“On a bipartisan basis, we’ve been able to pass legislation out of Congress on a number of topics.

“Whether it’s been: expanding apprenticeship opportunities for veterans; closing loopholes that posed a threat to our national security; saving taxpayer dollars; protecting the Great Lakes – which are one of our nation’s most precious natural resources; hiring more agricultural inspectors at our nation’s ports of entry; or improving the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Caregiver Program; I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their partnership with me in advancing these priorities.

“Now M. President – I know there’s no shortage of differences among us. But when we put personal politics aside and focus on addressing the problem at hand – we can get results.

“As we enter the next session of Congress, I’m hopeful that we can build on some of the progress we’ve made.

“Whether it’s supporting small businesses – lowering prescription drug costs – ensuring our nation remains a global leader in innovation – or getting through this public health and economic crisis – there’s much more work to be done in the next Congress. And that can only be done by reaching across the aisle.

“Two years ago I delivered George Washington’s Farewell Address on the Senate Floor – an annual tradition here in the Senate. In that address, President Washington warned of the dangers of tribalism and political polarization in our country.

“We cannot forget President Washington’s message – particularly during these uncertain and daunting times. We cannot let polarization prevent us from doing the peoples’ work.

“Let us build on the spirit of bipartisanship. Let us work together to get things done. Our constituents demand that of us.

“And this week we can start with a bipartisan COVID relief bill that makes a difference to everyone suffering through this pandemic.”

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