"McConnell has been AWOL, he has been absent, a total nonparticipant and is now actually being a critical speed bump in the last days as Speaker Pelosi is trying hard to work out a robust package of relief," Sen. Chris Coons said.
October 21, 2020

New Day's John Berman talked about the stimulus package that Republicans are so reluctant to pass.

"So talks resume this morning on a new relief package to help millions of struggling Americans. Multiple sources, though, tell CNN that the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is warning the White House not to get behind a deal at the risk of dividing Senate Republicans before the election," Berman said, bringing on Sen. Chris Coons.

"Let me read you a little bit of CNN's reporting on what's going on in the Senate in regards to this relief package. At a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, he said he warned the White House against getting behind such a proposal before November 3rd that would badly divide Senate Republicans. So McConnell isn't jumping up and down about this. What do you want this morning?"

Coons said he wanted "real progress" for Americans who are struggling through the pandemic recession.

"We have more than 25 million Americans on unemployment right now. More than 8 million Americans infected. More than 220,000 Americans dead. This is a public health crisis of epic proportions and our economy is barely hanging on, because of the unanimous support of the Senate six months ago for the CARES relief act.

"McConnell has been AWOL, he has been absent, a total nonparticipant and is now actually being a critical speed bump in the last days as Speaker Pelosi is trying hard to work out a robust package of relief. We have 6 million Americans late on their mortgage or their rent. That should be in this bill. Every state is facing rising challenges, both in terms of their budgets and the pandemic response.

"Robust state and local government relief should be in this bill. And there should be another round of support for families. I hope we can get this done. I have confidence in Speaker Pelosi and her negotiations. Many of us in the Senate are ready to support a broad and significant bill like this. But it's striking that Republicans in the midst of this public health crisis, are signaling they will not support any more funding for American families in the middle of this recession and pandemic," Coons said.

Berman then brought out the heavy cable-TV guns: "Maybe don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. Maybe even take the deal a little bit north of the $1.8 trillion the White House last offered was." (C'mon, John, you know the White House offer was filled with tax cuts and discretionary spending for a Republican slush fund!)

Coons didn't take the bait.

"Look, let's put this into broader perspective. $1.8 trillion is an enormous amount of money. It's more than double the amount of the relief package, the Recovery Act that the Obama/Biden administration was able to get. I'll remind you, in 2009, when the Obama/Biden administration came in, our economy was in free fall, because of the collapse in Wall Street, and Republicans doggedly objected to moving forward with any relief, insisted on major tax cuts to get anything. This is about three times the size of the real stimulus that was in that bill. This is what Democrats care about, providing support for American families who are struggling.

"That's why Joe Biden should be our next president. He knows how to lead us out of this pandemic. How to get our kids back to school safely. How to provide support for our seniors who are in skilled nursing facilities, who are most at risk. How to get a vaccine safely out to the American public and our economy reopened, and how to restore our place on the world stage. Joe Biden will show tomorrow night in the presidential debate that he's presidential.

"He's going to be standing opposite a guy who's acting like he's president, but doesn't have any idea how to actually do the job."

Sounds about right. Just as Trump played a successful businessman on TV, he plays at being a president. We've all seen the results.

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