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Sen. Cruz to Senate Democrats on COVID-19 Response: ‘Rise Above Petty Partisan Games’

March 26, 2020

SenCruz to Senate Democrats on COVID-19 Response: ‘Rise Above Petty Partisan Games’

Following the Senate Democrats’ decision to play partisan games and block the Senate’s third bipartisan emergency coronavirus package, yesterday I delivered remarks on the Senate floor where I called on my colleagues to address this public health crisis and deliver real relief for the American people. 

ON DEMOCRATS’ BLOCKING CONSIDERATION OF THE THIRD EMERGENCY CORONAVIRUS PACKAGE: 

This is a time of extraordinary crisis for our nation. In this time of crisis, I call upon each of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to rise above. Rise above petty partisanship. Rise above the bickering that so often consumes Washington. Rise above and put first the priorities of the millions of Americans who are hurting 

“There is a time for political disagreements. There is a time for policy disagreements. I am no stranger to robust political and policy disagreements. But we are in the midst of a global pandemic. People are dying. People are suffering 

“Last night when the Senate voted on whether to move forward with emergency relief legislation for the millions of people being devastated by the economic disaster we're seeing as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, every single Democrat in this body voted to block consideration of this bill 

“Now for those of you at home who are not pouring over a Senate procedural matter, what does it mean to vote to block consideration? It doesn’t mean they voted against the bill. It means they voted against even starting to take it up.” 

ON DEMOCRATS’ EXPLOITATION OF THE CRISIS TO ADVANCE THEIR IDEOLOGICAL PRIORITIES: 

“If [Senate Democrats] have reasonable concerns, they're welcome to raise them. By the way, this bill was drafted with the participation of nearly a dozen SenateDemocrats who are actively part of the task forces submitting suggestions. In fact, one of the suggestions the Democrats submitted during the drafting was plus up those unemployment insurance numbers and they got agreement. 

This was drafted in a bipartisan manner. What happened? I got to tell you, yesterday, Sunday, most of us thought we were going to move to this. But then Nancy Pelosi decided it was time to play politics. Decided to throw a grenade into the whole process. And she had a list of demands, over 1,000 page bill that she drops out of nowhere. And the demands she's pushing, I ask you do these have anything to do with the coronavirus epidemic?  

“A number of people have cited the famed quote from Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Sadly, we're seeing the embodiment of that cynical approach right now. […] 

“What are they pushing for? Changing the emission standards on airplanes. Mr. President, what in the hell do the emission standards on airplanes have to do with thousands of people dying and millions of people out of work in the coronavirus epidemic? Don’t treat this bill like a partisan Christmas. […] 

“The Democrats are pushing wind and solar tax credits. Mr. President, what in the hell does a windmill have to do with this crisis? Other than there's some Democratic lobbyists getting fat and rich and they're willing to extort a crisis to try to advance their political agenda.  

Mandates on corporate board diversity. […] They want to mandate effectively, quotas on boards of directors. Mr. President, what in the hell does that have to do with this crisis? 

The Pelosi wish list wants to restructure the debt for the Post Office. Mr. President last I checked, look our postal workers, they go through wind and rain and snow, but they haven't been laid off.” 

ON CURBING THE PANDEMIC AND GIVING REAL RELIEF FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: 

I am going to close this the way I started. By calling on Democrats, calling on Republicans: rise above petty partisan games. The Democratic leaders are playing these games. To every one of you Democrats, listen to the men and women in your states. Don't give in to the games. Most of the Democratic Senators say they don't even know what their side wants. But it's just their leadership that's willing to hold the American people hostage for unrelated political partisan objectives.” 

My full remarks may be viewed here. Earlier this month, I voted in favor of the Senate’s first and second coronavirus relief packages to assist in the United States' response to COVID-19. 

For more information and additional resources, visit www.cruz.senate.gov/coronavirus/.

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