5/23/2020 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – As the U.S. Senate adjourns for the month of May without taking a single vote on legislation related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) over the three-week session, U.S. Senator Jack Reed is voicing frustration with Senate Republicans’ unwillingness to address the ongoing economic and public health crises that American families and businesses are facing.  Reed stated:

“The U.S. Senate has a responsibility to help keep people safe and healthy and lead the nation in a responsible direction.  Unfortunately, Republican leaders shirked that duty in favor of a partisan agenda that prioritizes confirming right-wing nominees over safeguarding public health and fixing the economy.

“The last three weeks were legislative malpractice that could cost our economy and public health.  Instead of fixing and improving legislation to help families and Main Street businesses, Senate Republican leaders ignored the suffering of millions of Americans to focus on partisan nominees.  The Majority Leader blocked consideration of measures that could have provided much needed relief to frontline workers, hospitals, small businesses, and state and local communities.

“Senator McConnell suggested it should be easier for states to go bankrupt and his legislative priorities over the past month certainly align with that philosophy.  The public health and economic devastation Americans are feeling is compounded by Republican intransigence. 

“The last month is a missed opportunity that could have and should have been more productively spent building consensus, providing stronger oversight, and working across party lines on solutions to boost public health and our economy.

 “I hope the Senate will get back to work and start focusing on the issues that are most important to the American people.  Americans have sacrificed to help stop the spread and buy time to prepare for an effective COVID-19 response.  Senate Republican leaders must not squander another minute."