Dec 1, 2020

Problem Solvers Caucus Introduces Stimulus Plan Press Conference Transcript December 1

Problem Solvers Caucus Introduces Stimulus Plan Press Conference Transcript December 1
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsProblem Solvers Caucus Introduces Stimulus Plan Press Conference Transcript December 1

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus held a press conference on December 1 to introduce a bipartisan economic stimulus proposal. Read the transcript of the news briefing with the COVID-19 relief announcement here.

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Joe: (00:00)
Thank you for being here this morning. This has been a group that’s been in labor of intense effort. I know every one of us want to thank our staffs because they’ve done yeoman’s work. As you can see, we have with us a bipartisan, bicameral group of people who’ve been working diligently for the last 30 days or more, trying to get to a conclusion and a template if you will, or framework. This is COVID emergency relief framework, is exactly what it is.

Speaker 1: (00:27)
Take your mask off.

Joe: (00:28)
You can’t hear me? Okay. Back off. Let me just say that this is an intense amount of work that the staffs have been doing for quite some time, and every Senator, every Congressperson here has put in an inordinate amount of time on this, in person and on the phone. This is a COVID emergency relief framework.

Joe: (00:52)
We’ve worked in the best interest of what we believe is great for our country, it’s good for our states, and we can all go home knowing that we have worked diligently to make sure that the unemployed, the small businesses, the state and local funding, student loan forbearance, everything that’s going to come to a halt in December because of the timing, that’s not going to happen. We’re battling COVID-19 more fiercely now than we ever have before. We recognize that. It’s inexcusable for us to leave town and not have an agreement that we can come together, and not show that we can work the way this Senate and the way that Congress was intended to work in a bipartisan way. It’s not the time for political brinkmanship and you’ll not see any of that here today on this stage. We intend to move this forward after months of failing to act for one reason or another. We’re not blaming anybody for why they haven’t come to an agreement; it wasn’t enough, it’s too much, whatever. We know what’s necessary right now, in a timely fashion.

Joe: (01:52)
Our bipartisan, bicameral group, as I said, has worked over the past month. We’re pleased to present to you today, a template or a framework, if you will, that’s put together by senators and representatives from their respective caucuses. Our action to provide emergency relief is needed now more than ever before. The people need to know that we are not going to leave until we get something accomplished, or this group that’s worked together so diligently. So I’m committed to seeing this through. I truly am. My state of West Virginia depends on it, as long as all of my colleagues, every one of the representative states in the country depends on it.

Joe: (02:33)
This is going to get us through the most difficult times. This will run up to the end of the first quarter, April 1, and we hope that we can get the relief that’s needed. So without further ado, I’m going to call now, if my dear friend Susan Collins would come forward for a few words. Susan.

Speaker 1: (02:50)
Hey, Joe, when the chart comes, why don’t you get back up and-

Joe: (02:53)
I will. The charts are being printed and the charts will be here in just few minutes.

Speaker 1: (02:59)
[inaudible 00:03:00].

Joe: (02:59)
We’ll come back and make sure. I’m going to make sure y’all get a handout before you leave too. Susan.

Susan Collins: (03:06)
Thank you. Thank you. First, I want to salute everyone who has joined us today. We have worked very hard to put together a 900 to $8 billion framework for COVID relief. We’ve worked night and day throughout the Thanksgiving recess because we recognize that families all across America are struggling, that businesses are closing, that hospitals are overwhelmed. As we deal with this second wave, or their wave of this pandemic, it is absolutely essential that we pass emergency relief.

Susan Collins: (03:53)
I’m particularly pleased that the package includes $228 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program that has helped keep our small businesses of float and paying their employees. That’s the most important part. In Maine, it has helped sustain the jobs of 250,000 workers. This will be particularly helpful to those businesses that have received a first PPP loan, that has kept them alive and paying their employees, but now find that they need additional assistance. In particular, that includes our restaurant and hospitality industry. So again, I want to thank all of my colleagues for their very hard work and it gives me great pleasure to introduce another leader in this effort, Senator Mark Warner.

Mark Warner: (04:59)
Well, thank you, Susan. And let me just first echo what has already been said, this $908 billion framework, which will take us from December 1 through March 31st. Not going to make everybody happy, but there’s been an enormous amount of work done. I want to thank particularly the Senate colleagues who have spent, I think literally every day but Thanksgiving, either over pizza or over pasta at people’s houses like Lisa’s, and there’s been a lot of enormously good give and take.

Mark Warner: (05:29)
I came to this with the notion that I’m hearing from Virginians, somebody used it and I borrowed their term, that it would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge. I think we’ve laid out that interim package, which shortly will appear. I just want to touch on two items very briefly. One, for all of us who live in the Metro area, we saw in the Washington Post editorial today, that short of some relief, Metro will have to lay off close to 4,000 workers over the next coming months. It will end service after 9:00 every day. It will end service on weekends. That will have a dramatic effect on the functions of the federal government, as well as constituents across the tri-state area. So we’ve made, I think the right kind of investment in public transit.

Mark Warner: (06:22)
Secondly, and Susan has been the leader on this, on support for small businesses. We have literally hundreds of thousands of small businesses across Virginia that are struggling. Disproportionally, we’ve seen those businesses that have been affected have been minority businesses. We’ve lost 440,000 black-owned businesses across America, literally, destroying a generation of wealth creation. In this package we’ve allocated $11 billion for investments in CDFIs, MDIs, and other institutions that will lend to these underserved communities. And that’ll have a good short-term and long-term effect.

Mark Warner: (07:02)
While this perhaps will offend some folks on both sides, we think it is a good framework and we are all committed to doing what it takes to get it done. With that, let me turn it over to somebody who’s been a constant effort at bridging the gaps. Maybe that’s because there’s a doctor, as opposed to the lawyers in the crowd, that’s our friend, Bill Cassidy.

Bill Cassidy: (07:28)
Thank you, Mark, and thank you all. Today is a victory for the American people and it is a victory for commonsense. It is a bipartisan, bicameral effort, which creates a pathway forward to bring relief to the unemployed, to the small businesswomen, the small businessmen, struggling to hang on until the vaccine is widely used, to the doctors and the nurses who are on frontline with a third wave of disease, wondering if they’re going to get the relief they need to effectively address this third wave.

Bill Cassidy: (08:02)
On a Louisiana note is the hospitality workers from the casinos of Shreveport, down to the hotels of New Orleans, for the recently laid off refinery workers in Convent, Louisiana, for the oil and gas workers in the Bayou and in Lafayette Parish. As a Republican… By the way, let me say, Republicans and Democrats, neither of us got everything we wanted. Both of us got much of what we wanted. And I think that combination reflects what Congress is supposed to do, reconciling different priorities, but ultimately doing something good for the American people. As a Republican, I will say, it builds upon President Trump’s commitment to get something done. And for my fellow Republicans, if you care about the effort that President Trump and his administration made, you should support this bill.

Bill Cassidy: (08:55)
As a Senator, I want to give a shout out to the Problem Solvers Caucus on the House side, part of the larger No Labels effort. My staff and I have been meeting with their staff and them for months on some of the policies that are contained here, on the strategy to get it through. They have been fantastic partners, bicameral, bipartisan. But I’ll conclude by saying once more, this is a victory for the American people. This is a victory for common sense. And now it gives me great pleasure to introduce one of those leaders of the Problem Solvers Caucus, Josh Gottheimer.

Josh Gottheimer: (09:33)
That’s funny. That’s really funny. Today is a win for the American people, for common sense, and for problem- solving. I’m so incredibly proud of all the hard work that made this happen across the aisle and across the chambers, and I’m grateful to the senators…

Josh Gottheimer: (10:03)
Across the aisle and across the chambers and I’m grateful to the senators who are with us and all the members of the House and of the Problem Solvers Caucus. I’d particularly like to thank the co-chair of the caucus, Tom Reed, and our COVID team leaders, Dusty Johnson, Dean Phillips, Anthony Gonzalez, Abigail Spanberger and Fred Upton, they’re all here and I’m grateful to them.

Josh Gottheimer: (10:21)
The Problem Solvers Caucus proudly voted to endorse this package, meaning it now has the support of 50 members of Congress, 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, who combined represent millions of families and businesses who need immediate action. They want to get help and they’re sick and tired like we all are of waiting for COVID relief. With cases spiking, winter around the corner, and countless small businesses closing every single day, and far too many families hurting right now, we simply can’t leave town and leave anyone in the cold without getting something done immediately.

Josh Gottheimer: (10:55)
We can’t allow some to prioritize politics ahead of the pandemic. This four month COVID-19 emergency relief package will help get us through the hardest months of winter and into a new administration. It’s an essential down payment in what our families, small businesses and local communities need. This bicameral package is consistent with the values and priorities of the Problem Solvers Caucus and that we’ve been fighting for since summer. It will help families across our country with supplemental unemployment, child care, rental assistance and resources for all those families who may be visiting food pantries for the very first time. It includes significant investment for our state and local governments of all sizes, with revenue loss, COVID-19 expenditures, food insecurity, mass transit, and K-12 education. We’re also getting a second round of PPE to our small businesses and ensuring they won’t be taxed on the first round of PPE and simplified forgiveness for loans of $150,000.00 or less.

Josh Gottheimer: (11:51)
We’re getting federal investment out to our hospitals and health systems and our frontline workers so we can continue working to keep our communities safe, including more resources into the deployment of a vaccine, and more testing and tracing.

Josh Gottheimer: (12:03)
As was said, this is a heck of a down payment and what our country needs desperately, and I think we all can agree, America simply can’t wait any longer. I know that here in the greatest country in the world working together as we are today we can find light through this darkness. Thanks and God bless, and now introducing … Very proud to introduce Senator Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney : (12:26)
Thank you Congressman. COVID has created a crisis and in a crisis, the people expect Congress to act and this group has come together to propose action that could respond to this crisis. We got people unemployed, we got businesses shutting downs, we got states and localities getting ready for layoffs of large numbers of people. It’s simply unacceptable for us not to respond to help in this circumstance.

Mitt Romney : (12:56)
Now I happen to be a deficit hawk. I don’t like borrowing money, I don’t like spending money we don’t have, but the time to borrow money, maybe the only time to borrow money is when there’s a crisis and this is a crisis. We want to help people at this particular time and so we’ve come together and we’ve been very careful. This is not a $1.8 trillion stimulus bill, this is a relief measure, half that amount, $908 billion. I would note that of that fund, $560 billion is money repurposed from the first CARES Act, so the amount of new money is actually $348 billion. I’d also make this note and that is liability protection is critical and you’ll see in the chart if it ever gets here from the printer that we did negotiate a liability provision that provides a temporary moratorium on … A temporary suspension of any liability-related lawsuits at the state or federal level associated with COVID, giving states enough time to put in place their own protections.

Mitt Romney: (14:09)
Let me note that any state that doesn’t put in place protections hasn’t been thinking this through very carefully. Because if I were a CEO, I would never think about putting a new business in a state that didn’t have liability protection for COVID. Some states already have, my state of Utah has, so we’re giving states the time to put in place their own provisions in the way they think best to protect their businesses, their schools, their hospitals, their universities and to make sure that the people themselves are also protected. So I’m very pleased to be part of this effort. It’s been a long and arduous process but one which I believe has great merit, and with that, I’m happy to introduce my fellow senator, great senator from the state of New Hampshire, Senator Shaheen, Jeanne Shaheen.

Jeanne Shaheen: (14:55)
Thank you, I’m pleased to join all of my colleagues in the senate and the Problem Solvers folks from the House who are here to endorse a framework that we believe makes it possible for us to move forward to provide emergency aid to the people who are hurting in this country. Today we’ve lost almost a quarter of a million Americans to COVID, over 13 million Americans have been affected in some way. As I traveled around New Hampshire over the last two months, what I heard everywhere I went was that people were hurting and they need help. So whether it’s the small business people, those who are unemployed, cities and towns who are worried about laying off frontline workers, hospitals who are in financial distress, they need help from the federal government and we are here to say we think there is a pathway to an agreement that can provide that help for a temporary period.

Jeanne Shaheen: (15:52)
Now the challenge is and a number of my colleagues have talked about this being a victory for the American people. If we pass it, it is a victory for the American people. This is step one, we have a lot of steps going forward, but to provide help for people who are in need. That’s why we’re here and that’s what we intend to try and get done and I’m pleased to be part of this effort. Now Representative Reed is here.

Josh Gottheimer: (16:21)
Do you need the stool?

Tom Reed: (16:22)
I don’t need the stool, thank you Josh. Well thank you and thank you to the senators for such great work and I just wanted to take a moment to thank the leadership of the Problem Solvers caucus that worked tirelessly on this effort. I wanted to specifically recognize Abigail Spanberger from Virginia, Dean Phillips from Minnesota, Dusty Johnson from South Dakota, my good friend Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey, Anthony Gonzalez from Ohio, and Fred Upton from Michigan. We worked tirelessly with our senate partners to bring together I think a common sense proposal based on the principles of the Problem Solvers Caucus. We are proud Republicans, we are proud Democrats, we are proud House of Representative members and we are proud senators, but at the end of the day, we are fundamentally first and foremost proud Americans and our job here in this great Capitol and in the dome is to listen to the American people and the American people are suffering.

Tom Reed: (17:29)
It is time as my colleagues have said to deliver these results for them. It is time for this package of $908 billion of emergency relief that just got delivered from the printer on queue [inaudible 00:17:45] to be delivered to the American people. I can’t think of a better time than the Christmas holiday to honor the call of the American people, listen to that voice, and just ask those in these chambers and the 50 members of the Problem Solvers Caucus and our Senate colleagues that did this work, to pass this bill and join us and get it to the finish line and signed into law for the people that are suffering day in and day out. With that, I’d love to introduce a good friend who has become a very good friend during this process, Angus King from Maine. Senator King.

Angus King: (18:28)
Well as everyone else has, I want to thank the people who are standing here for the work that they’ve done. It’s a remarkable moment when you have members of both parties, both houses, an independent, all standing here talking about moving the country forward. This is an opportunity. It’s first and foremost an opportunity for the American people to have some relief for this horrible pandemic that has struck our people in such a devastating way. In every state, in virtually every community in the country, it’s an opportunity to deal with the principle issues. Not every issue, not every comprehensive thing that various people have proposed, but what we have tried to do as you can see from the chart is to talk about people. Talk about people who are unemployed, small businesses that are struggling, those lines that you’ve seen on television at food banks. There’s a substantial amount of nutritional support in this report.

Angus King: (19:35)
Frontline workers in communities across the country whose jobs are in danger because of the shortage of funds for state and local communities. So this is an opportunity for the American people to have relief. It is also a profound opportunity for this institution to show the American people that we are able to rise to the occasion, that we are able to respond to a crisis, that we are –

Angus King: (20:03)
… that we are able to respond to a crisis, that we’re able to respond in a way that is not partisan, that is not political, but is simply aimed at dealing with this catastrophe that has struck the American people. So I’m delighted to be here to join my colleagues. Modesty forces me to mention however that a disproportionate number of the senators here are from Northern New England, two from Maine, two from New Hampshire. For what it’s worth, I’ve mentioned that.

Speaker 2: (20:39)
We like that.

Angus King: (20:39)
Yeah, that’s okay. But seriously, I particularly want to thank the members of the house. To have the 50 members of the Problem Solvers Caucus support this gives it a huge headstart and a huge amount of credibility in both houses and in the country. So I want to thank everyone for their work on this, for their willingness to come together, for their willingness to make concessions, for their willingness to try to solve problems. Thank you all, and we look forward to the next steps over the next week or so in the Congress to turn this, the beginning, the first step as Jeanne Shaheen said into the reality of relief for the American people. I want to call on my good friend from Alaska, the other bookend of the United States, Maine and Alaska, Lisa Murkowski.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski: (21:36)
Well, thank you for acknowledging the other side of the country. I am indeed very pleased and honored to have been working with an exceptional group of senators and working with colleagues in the house to respond to the crisis at hand. I think it’s important as we look to not only the men and women that are assembled here, but recognizing who we represent, where we come from and what has happened in our parts of the country.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski: (22:07)
In my home state, this morning at eight o’clock in Anchorage, we are going into our third round of hunker down. Basically, we’re shutting down the businesses, the restaurants, the bars, the hair salons, the gyms. Basically, what happens in a day to day life for the people of Anchorage, and what that then means to them as they’re going into a pretty dark and cold time of year with job loss, with insecurity as it relates to food, with insecurity as it relates to not only their schools and their jobs but whether or not they’re going to be able to stay in their home. Our response, our responsibility is to come together not as Republicans coming up with a plan, not as Democrats coming up with a counter plan, but coming up with a proposal that will provide for targeted emergency relief. And it’s been said that this is not what everybody would wish. People are going to look at these buckets and they’re going to say, “Well, wait a minute. My bucket isn’t there,” or, “My bucket is only half full.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski: (23:27)
Well, this is emergency relief. This is designed to get us through this next quarter. We know that we have more to do, but we cannot leave. We cannot abandon the American people, the families who are suffering at this time and waiting and begging for Congress to act. So today, a solution, a proposal to move us forward is what we have in front of us. What we need now is more than this tight group of friends that have spent Thanksgiving holiday together by phone. We need more to come together to act, to provide the relief for the country that is needed. I’m pleased to turn to my colleague once again, from the other side of the country, Senator Hassan.

Sen. Maggie Hassan: (24:23)
Well, thank you, Senator Murkowski. And it is great to be here with my colleagues in the Senate and the house Republicans, Democrats, and yes, and independent too, extraordinarily American to have strong opinions and vigorous disagreements. That’s what we all sometimes bring to this work, but it is equally American to come together after the arguments and find a way forward to unite around a common purpose and to remember that when America unites, there is nothing we can’t do. We are in a moment where we are hearing from our constituents, from all walks of life, about the importance of coming together, to get people the relief they need to get through this winter at a time when we are seeing cases spike, hospital beds full, our frontline workers especially in health care facilities, exhausted, frazzled and worried that somebody will come in for care and there will not be room for them and they will not be able to do the jobs that they are trained to do.

Sen. Maggie Hassan: (25:31)
We are at a time period when a restaurant owner in New Hampshire who actually had the guts and determination this summer, as our case loads were going down and everybody was outside to open up a new restaurant, who said to me at the same time, “Senator, please don’t forget that it’s going to get cold in a couple of months, and we’re not going to have all this outside dining. People aren’t going to come in. Our businesses are going to suffer, and even successful restaurant tours like me are going to have difficulty. You need to do something.” The weekend before Thanksgiving, I was up in a very small town in the Mount Washington Valley to help distribute Thanksgiving food boxes and packages in an outside food distribution center. None of the volunteers there identified as Republican or Democrat. To me, they were just neighbors trying to make sure that their neighbors had what they needed to get through the next couple of weeks.

Sen. Maggie Hassan: (26:35)
And one of the things that stuck with me was one of the organizers of the food drive said to me, “Senator, please don’t judge the people who come here by the cars they’re driving.” They were coming up in cars, the food was being handed, and he said, “We go out of our way to keep the client’s confidentiality because people are proud and they have never been in a food line before,” and he said, “You can’t judge them by the car they’re driving because this pandemic has hit everybody in unexpected ways.” I think that’s what we need to remember right now as we come together to do the will of the American people. This pandemic has hit everybody in unexpected ways and our job is to come together in Congress and as a people to make sure that we can get through some very dark days ahead with the understanding and hope that we’re going to get through this pandemic and be stronger on the other side. Thanks all.

Joe: (27:46)
Let me just say that the charts have arrived. We’re happy about that. I want to reiterate everything that’s been said here because I can tell you, we have an awful lot of our colleagues, not just in the Senate and not just in our respective caucuses of Democrat and Republican that have a deep, deep desire of getting something done and get something done before we leave. So this is just a representative group that we have here. I know Congress has many more in Congress, both on the Democrat and Republican caucuses that have a desire to get something accomplished.

Joe: (28:16)
This is a framework, as you can see, we have tried to address every need of the neediest in our country, and all of our States have it. You can see the categories that we’ve gone over. We’ll be working diligently now to put something together as quickly as possible. I remind you that basically within the next two to three weeks, people start losing that lifeline and no fault of their own. We’re going through the most difficult time. I believe that we’ve ever had in a COVID and this COVID pandemic. And that’s the next quarter, the first quarter of next year. With that, we’ll open it up for questions you can ask-

Sen. Maggie Hassan: (28:47)
Can I say one thing, Joe?

Joe: (28:48)
Yeah, real quick, Bill.

Bill Cassidy: (28:50)
Sometimes an image is better than what people say. I’m scanning back here, and I saw a bunch of Mardi Gras beads. Mardi Gras was canceled in New Orleans, and I’m told they’re considering canceling the Mobile. Think of how many people make their living off of that three-month period of parades. That’s when our unemployment list for. And by the way, it’s not just the person who has the Airbnb she’s invested in New Orleans, it is the airline folks who are sending people into New Orleans to do it. It’s the seafood folks, the lobster people who are shipping it down to Louisiana in our wonderful restaurants. And did I mention K-Paul’s closed its doors forever? So if you will, this is almost a metaphor for what we’re talking about. Mardi Gras is canceled. We must do something to support those folks whose livelihood has been at least temporarily destroyed.

Joe: (29:48)
Go ahead. Yes, ma’am?

Speaker 3: (29:49)
Senator, how quickly do you want to move here? When could we actually see a bill that is ready for a vote?

Joe: (29:56)
Well, we’ve worked diligently on that and we would have one ready very soon. I mean, we can put one-

Joe: (30:03)
We would have one ready very soon. I mean, we can put one together. We have to do something before the next two weeks. We have to.

Reporter 1: (30:08)
And have you gotten any assurances from Speaker Pelosi or Leader McConnell that they will put this on the House and Senate floors for a vote?

Joe: (30:16)
We have not had assurances from them on that for a vote, but I think the American people will put the pressure, showing that there’s a group of us coming together that this needs to be done. This is the only group that’s made an effort that they’ve made right now. This is the only group that’s come together in such a large gathering, and many more people involved. So we know the need’s there. We’re determined not to go home until we do something. So it’s up to them to work with us. We want to work with them. If they have other priorities, please let us know, but right now we think we’ve covered an awful lot of the areas of concern. I’ll go here, then I’ll come back here.

Reporter 2: (30:47)
Apparently one source says the White House is onboard with this Is that correct, and who stands to be nominated [inaudible 00:30:55]?

Joe: (30:54)
Somebody want to speak about the White House. I would not be the best person to speak on that. Mitt, you want to speak on that, Mitt?

Josh Gottheimer: (31:03)
I wish I were there, but… We have communicated with Secretary Mnuchin about our negotiations. He hasn’t weighed in as to whether he agrees or disagrees. He’s offered some advice in terms of figures. We’ve wondered, for instance, what was the right number for airlines? What do they need? What do bus companies need and so forth? And he provided some of the information from the negotiations he had had with Speaker Pelosi. But I don’t have any prediction on how the White House would react.

Josh Gottheimer: (31:33)
We’ve also communicated with the majority leader’s office about what we’re working on, but neither has described whether they would support or not support what we’ve put together.

Joe: (31:45)
I would say, let me just say one thing. Minority Leader Schumer also has being kept up to speed on this. And with that, he’s encouraged for us to continue to work in a bipartisan way, bicameral way to come to an agreement.

Reporter 2: (31:58)
[inaudible 00:00:32:00].

Joe: (32:00)
I’m not going to speak to the omnibus bill right now on that. Yes.

Josh Gottheimer: (32:03)
Hey, Joe. Why don’t you [crosstalk 00:32:05]?

Speaker 4: (32:05)
Hold on. You want to speak to someone in the House?

Josh Gottheimer: (32:07)
No, I just want to add, in the House we’ve been in touch with our leadership as well.

Speaker 4: (32:10)
Mask on, [inaudible 00:02:12].

Josh Gottheimer: (32:11)
Oh, sorry. We’ve been in touch with our leadership as well in the House, and I know Tom has as well on the Republican side. And I think what’s critically important, we’re hearing from members across the spectrum that they want to get something done before we go home. And I think that pressure is going to really get this to the floor for a vote.

Joe: (32:27)
Senator Collins has to preside. We want to thank her so much. She’s been invaluable to this organization and to basically where we’ve gotten to today. Yes, ma’am?

Reporter 3: (32:35)
So Senator Manchin, do you think Democratic leadership has been too rigid in their $2 trillion demand for legislation? And on the Republican side, the liability insurance demand is that too-

Joe: (32:49)
We’re not putting blame anywhere. Basically, we know that they all have… There’s much need out there and needs have been identified, but so many different organizations, from all economists to every organizations put something out there. We’ve hit a spot to where we know it can give us emergency relief. That’s all this is about. Emergency relief going through the first quarter, which ends on April 1. President- elect Biden will be coming in. He’ll be able to determine if there’s more that needs to be done. This is an emergency that gets us through from this holiday season, people that are losing in December, and we just can’t leave without that being addressed.

Reporter 3: (33:29)
And do you have buy-in from team Biden and the President-elect?

Joe: (33:30)
I think team Biden has been buying in we need to do something. I think you’ve seen that publicly. Something has to be done. Now to get a big package or whatever that may be, this is an emergency package, which I would think they’d be very pleased with. I don’t know for sure. Yes.

Reporter 4: (33:44)
I wanted to ask you, the news is [inaudible 00:33:44] expected to speak with [inaudible 00:33:44] on the phone. Do you know if they’re going to be talking about this proposal [crosstalk 00:03:54]?

Joe: (33:53)
Mark, do you know anything about that?

Mark Warner: (33:57)
Well, I have to rush back to a banking committee hearing where Secretary Mnuchin is appearing and tend to ask him. That like Senator Romney, I’ve had a number of conversations with Secretary Mnuchin, and I know a number of these areas, again, not saying he’s saying for the administration, but it’s helped us drill down on some of these numbers, but I think we’re-

Joe: (34:18)
Yeah, yeah. We’ll wrap it up now. As you can see, a lot of work has been put into this. We’re working diligently to have a bill ready as quickly as possible.

Speaker 4: (34:26)
Joe, did you want to mention the unemployment is 300 a week?

Joe: (34:26)
Pardon me?

Speaker 4: (34:26)
The unemployment?

Joe: (34:30)
Oh yeah. You saw the unemployment, right?

Speaker 5: (34:33)
You might describe that is per week.

Joe: (34:34)
Okay. Let me make sure you understand what we’re… Going down the chart real quick. Okay? You have state, local, and tribal governments at 160. You’ve got additional unemployment insurance, that’s $300 for 18 weeks, 10 billion a week. That’s 180 billion.

Speaker 4: (34:49)
That includes gig workers.

Joe: (34:50)
Yeah. That includes all the gig workers and people that basically we covered under the first CARE’s Act.

Speaker 4: (34:55)
Retroactive December.

Joe: (34:55)
Retroactive December 1 if we don’t get it done until the second or third week of December. And then everything else as far as the money that we have for Paycheck Protection Program. And you see idle restaurant stages, deductabilities, everything that we’ve been trying to make sure that we haven’t missed any one. Community leader support, which has been great. Transportation, airlines, airports, buses, mass transit, Amtrak, vaccine development, distribution, and testing and tracing. And that’s going on now. And if more is needed there, we’ll make sure that there’s enough sufficient amount to take care of that.

Joe: (35:25)
Healthcare Provider Relief Fund, we know of our hospitals, especially rural hospitals, we have set asides for rural, so they don’t get left behind. Education, we have a tremendous need in education. Student loans at basically forbearance on student loans. Housing assistance and rental, we know what people are going through there. And then when you look at that, we have nutrition and we’re talking about nutrition and all forms of nutrition. Feeding people that don’t qualify for SNAP. Feeding people that basically you’re seeing in line now, and not judging by the car they’re driving, but basically by the mouths they have to feed.

Joe: (35:57)
So we’re looking at everything we have. Childcare, broadband, we know is a tremendous challenge for all of us. And opiod addiction continues to be rampant in my state. It exasperates. Unbelievable what’s happening. So we’ve hit everything there and we acknowledge that federal liability has to be one of the things we consider and do and make sure we do it right.

Joe: (36:16)
With that, I want to thank all of you. You can ask any questions you want. Some of us will hang around. Okay?

Speaker 5: (36:21)
Good job.

Speaker 4: (36:22)
Thank you all.

Speaker 5: (36:26)
Awesome, sir. Thank you. [crosstalk 00:06:29].

Speaker 6: (36:33)
They love the mayor. I was hoping you might see those in there.

Speaker 5: (36:38)
I didn’t know what they were doing down there, but I knew it was going to be good now.

Speaker 7: (36:42)
Did you bring them or… Thank you very much for all of this. Thank you guys. I appreciate it.

Speaker 5: (36:49)
We got to the finish line.

Speaker 7: (36:50)
Thank you.

Speaker 5: (36:53)
Dusty Jackson, South Dakota, ma’am.

Speaker 7: (36:55)
Nice to see you. [crosstalk 00:37:04] [inaudible 00:37:17]

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