WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) tonight released the below statement following her vote to move forward with the consideration of the third coronavirus relief package. The motion to proceed failed on a vote of 47 to 47.
“This is a solemn time in our nation’s history. Thousands of Americans are sick with a virus that threatens to infect many, many more. Our medical professionals and first responders are working far beyond the call of duty to provide excellent care under trying circumstances. Meanwhile, workers are being laid off and small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. There is widespread agreement among the American people that Congress should pass major legislation to provide resources to our health care providers, state and local governments, working families, and small businesses.
“I am deeply disappointed in the partisanship that we experienced tonight when the Senate defeated a procedural motion that would allow us to consider such legislation. This is not a partisan issue. This is not about Republican or Democrat. This is an American response. Had this motion passed, we would have moved forward with legislation to provide significant funds and relief for medical providers, small businesses, families, workers who have lost their job or had their hours cut, veterans, local governments, and more. This bill would have been a significant step forward for our nation during this emergency situation. Had we advanced this bill, bipartisan negotiations would have continued and further improvements to the bill almost certainly would have been made.
“Despite this bump in the road, I am confident that we can still come together to provide urgently needed assistance to the American health care system and to our workers. It is critical that we act quickly. West Virginians are depending on it, and so is the rest of the country. I will continue working toward a bipartisan agreement that will allow us to pass similar legislation soon, and I urge my colleagues to put politics aside and do the same.”
Had tonight’s motion passed, the Senate would have been able to move forward with legislation to provide:
· $75 billion for hospitals and other medical providers.
· A new loan program for small businesses, with loan forgiveness designed to help keep workers on the payroll.
· Payments to all lower and middle income families of $1,200 per individual/$2,400 per married couple and $500 per child for individuals earning up to $75,000; single parents earning up to $112,500; and married couples earning up to $150,000.
· 13 additional weeks of unemployment for individuals who are laid off.
· An additional unemployment benefit of $600 a week on top of the normal unemployment benefit for 12 weeks.
· $20 billion for the health care of our veterans.
· $20 billion to K-12 and higher education institutions.
· $11 billion for research into vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
· $5 billion to FEMA to fund the Disaster Relief Fund.
· $400 million for FEMA grants for local governments and first responders.
· $10 billion for community development grants to state and local governments.
· $10 billion for grants to airports.
· $200 million to expand telehealth services.
· $100 million to expand broadband deployment in rural areas.