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  GOP Senators React to Coronavirus Relief Spending Discussion  CSPAN  July 21, 2020 7:12pm-7:36pm EDT

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authorization bill 2021 earlier they agreed to an amendment by arms chair that plays a some restrictions on u.s. military equipment transferred to law enforcement agencies. their expected finish work on the bill. follow live on cspan2. strack u.s. attorney general william barr appears before the judiciary committee oversight hearing on the justice department on tuesday, july 28 watch live coverage on c-span, watch any time on c-span.org. or listen on the go with the c-span radio app. so treasury secretary steven mnuchin and secretary staff mark meadows were in capitol hill today to talk about the next round of coronavirus relief legislation was senate republicans. follow the closed-door meeting majority leader mitch mcconnell and other republican leaders talk to reporters.
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[background noises] so is the good news is we'll have baseball starting thursday. boy does america need baseball and i know this town certainly does given always been through this year. we just had a robot bus discussion at our lunch with the secretary of the treasury about a starting place for the next rescue package. i have been working over the last two weeks with colleagues and with the administration to come up with what could best be described, typically around here as the chairman's mark, the starting place. we went over today and some level of detail the starting place we are hoping to come to
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some level of consensus on among republicans. but of course obviously the bill cannot pass without input from the democrats. that will come next. if you are looking for a theme, i will not put a bill on the floor that does not have liability protection and it. do not mischaracterize with this is about. this is not just for businesses. for hospitals, doctors, nurses , yes businesses, but also colleges, universities, k-12, in fact everybody trying to grapple with this new disease we did not fully understand. so unless you are grossly negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct, you should not have to deal with an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic we have
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already experienced and are still experiencing. 3500 lawsuits of already been filed. they are lining up to pick the pockets of everyone who is trying in good faith to deal with something we've never experienced before. beyond that, jobs, kids in healthcare. regretfully, this is not over. and i want to repeat again what i've been saying for a month and my colleagues behind me have been saying for a month, if people out in our country want know one to know what to do, the simplest thing you can do is wear a mask. i was pleased to see the president tweet yesterday with a mask on. the single best contribution any of us can make to our family, our neighbors, and our friends let's practice social distancing wear a mask. we are going to have to get
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through this coronavirus until we get a vaccine. as all of you know we have poured money into an effort to get there but testing treatment, the vaccine you know there is a manhattan type project behind the effort to get one or more vaccines as soon as possible. we also know we will need a massive number of doses but for the rest of the world. hopefully we will come together sometime before the august break. and send a bill over to the house for their consideration as he said we had a very good discussion at lunch we heard from the administration what some of their priorities are now the hard work begins of writing a bill that in the end
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the left have bipartisan support and get a presidential signature. we are in a different circumstance than we did this in march. on the reasons we know a lot more as we took a very thoughtful approach to this. we have observed looking to see what progress we've made we listen to states and communitie communities, businesses and healthcare providers and others across this country who have given us ideas about what the needs are and how we can best target spent a very deliberative process. democrats on the other hand if you done what they wanted to do several weeks ago we would have thrown another $3 trillion out there to fund a whole lot of things that are totally unrelated to the covid crisis.
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so the republicans have taken a much more responsible approach, it will be a very targeted approach and as we move forward the priorities will be kids, healthcare, and jobs for american workers. in my own case i'm hoping we could have included in their a provision that ensures covered leaf workers in mobile workers don't get hit with a big tax bill and i will be looking to make sure we are addressing the needs and concerns of agriculture, america's farmers and ranchers. i believe he pointed out liability protections not just for businesses but for healthcare workers, colleges, universities, and schools across this country as well who could be hit with frivolous lawsuits if we do not take action. i'm hoping we can have democrat cooperation there's not anything that's been proposed by republicans that should not have broad bipartisan support there is a deal out there to be had one
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that moves us in the right direction for the future of the country to get us back on track where we cannot only address the healthcare crisis in this country but also the economic crisis. >> in addition to the productive meeting today with the chief of staff and the white house we've all come back from spending time in her home states for a couple of weeks talking to people about what's on their minds. and what's on their minds are resuming their lives. they what did it sensibly, safely, that's why the legislation we are working on so critically important because of the size the amount of money involved it is critically important that we get it right. we know what unites us. it's important to the people we represent. that means their lives, healthcare, that relates to testing, vaccines and treatment. getting them back to work and getting their kids back to
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school. what's important is also the liability protection needed for healthcare workers. for the mom and pop businesses around the country so they can all open safely. the group of demands and what pelosi's trip to fantasy island. it's over $3 trillion and much of it has nothing to do with dealing with coronavirus. hundreds of billions of dollars because of things completely unrelated to coronavirus. it's a basically political payoffs for a number of their friends. it's paying people more to not work then to go to work. if the bailouts for big cities and states that have been essentially terrible, financial stewards over decades. republicans know what is
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important. they will ever win a bidding war with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi when it comes to paying taxpayer dollars they are in a league of their own. we are going to do the right thing in terms of healthcare and getting parents back to work, kids back-to-school in school in making sure they can all function. that is a reasonable and responsible plan for action. >> i've spent quite a bit of yesterday and this morning with secretary mnuchin and a any chief of staff, boston poorly from our point of view the chairman from the appropriation committee, shelby and alexander talk about the appropriation part of the bill. we are for back-to-school, back to work, back to childcare and back to better health. that all takes more testing, more therapeutics, vaccines
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that properly and fairly and equitably delivered. i think today think it's interesting of the 15200 nursing homes in the country, the first 638 are getting self-contained testing equipment today where they can do test and verify this test right there the next five or six weeks, wendy 500 of those 25000 nursing homes will have that kind of equipment. hopefully and the not-too-distant future all 15200 will have equipment on-site were nursing home patients can be tested as can everybody who comes into that facility as a worker or visitor. also going to be an important part of going back to school. back to work, going back to school, going back to campus living. all of those things require tests at work they are easily
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taken and quickly responded to. if you don't know the result of a test for five or six or seven days does not do nearly as much good as the test you know the result of an 15 or 20 minutes. i know how that impacts your life and everybody you're going to be associated with. or focusing on back-to-school, back to work, back to childcare, back to better health and the appropriating part of this bill we are putting together. >> the last several weeks i have been out on my 99 county tour. i was able to cover 29 counties in iowa just in the past couple of weeks. hearing from islands what their challenges were through covid-19, those ongoing challenges. also the opportunities that existed. what i did hear from those iowans was ppp. most of our small businesses
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had really great success with ppp. keeping employees employed which was the whole premise behind the program. i also heard about rural healthcare and how important it is that we are supporting our rural hospitals and clinics. we know this is the place many of the folks in the most remote areas of our state will go to receive their healthcare. it is vital for sustainability in a rural area. also heard about childcare and how important childcare is, especially in those states where we are in large childcare deserts. if we want moms and dads to go back to work we absolutely have to cab childcare facilities up and running so we know those kiddos will be safe and cared for. also one thing i did notice across the state of iowa as we have a lot of really wonderful essential workers who have
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been out there every single day since the pandemic started providing services for our constituents and our economy at large. i would like to see his reward those essential workers. i put forward a plan is called the front line act. it would providing income tax and payroll tax holiday for those who have been out there supporting all of us. if got a lot of big folks behind it are drivers, various folks within the healthcare industry as well. again the frontline keep america up and moving. >> this week we will be passing for the 60th straight year the national defense authorization act as an essential peace of legislation to the men and women in uniform. into the countries national
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security. it's important we pass this bill not just to ensure our troops understand how much we appreciate them during these dangerous times by giving them and their families a pay increase. not just because the chinese communist party provides an exit essential threat as we look in the future to the united states and this includes a specific deterrence initiative. also important to our economy. we have defense workers in the state of indiana and all around the country who rely on passage of this legislation and passage in a timely fashion to give them certainty and through this legislation we authorize programs that allows united states of america to continue to lead the world and next-generation cutting edge technology. i'm glad will be passing this for a big i've partisan vote. we are also turning to the next phase of the coronavirus response legislation.
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i am happy that we have been able to work together so far on so many dimensions of responding to the coronavirus pandemic. there are some difficult issues we are going to have to work through. we republicans favor making sure our schools have sufficient resources to open back up and adapt to these difficult times. we favor protecting employers of all sorts from educators to regular private sector businesses common to all others have the liability protection so they can open up the doors again and invite people back to work. that's ultimately what he who in others want. i think it's also important we recognize the circumstances of our hardest hit businesses. i've been traveling around the state of indiana and every spare moment visiting with these businesses, boutiques, restaurants, concert venues
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and manufacturing operations and the revenue is down in some cases by 80% as compared to last year pre-pandemic. they require a partially forgivable low interest longer-term capital loan. that is exactly what our treasury secretary has publicly supported and is what i call for along with senator bennett and our restart act. this is an act that has received it endorsement of 40 national organizations have roughly 50 senators who have co- supported has support in the house of representatives i have high confidences will continue to receive attention as we move forward and we come up with the most package possible. [inaudible]
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we understand progress has been made are you intent on that new money being in the bill? and [inaudable question] >> there are some differences of opinion for the payroll tax cut and whether that is the best way to go. we are still in discussion with the administration on that. with regard to the other question you had, roy went out you address that? >> i think we want to be sure and dealing with the administration that the money we put into testing already, is still available if it is not been spent. we want to continue to focus on tests that have a better result, a quicker result that
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is also equally reliable. i think that was an important point we were able to make talk into the administration today about testing and then the distribution of the vaccine, i think is right below developing the vaccine itself in terms of importance. we expect all of those to be addressed in our bill. reporter: [inaudible] >> we have had good progress none of these things are done until they are all done. had a really good discussion on testing i feel better about tha that. for nursing homes to have the protection they need, for schools to get started back again, i think you cannot expect the effort we are going to try to make to make sure is much as possible schools are encouraged to start in person. one of the best ways to start in person is to have quick,
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reliable, easy to take tests. that is what the shark tank is supposed to be focusing on a talk to doctor collins about that again this morning which is where i got that number on the distribution today that distribution of new equipment to nursing homes. i think if you expect schools to reopen in person you've got to have tests that allow that to happen. they frankly have to be better in terms of their quickness and responsiveness than the tests we've had up until now. reporter: president downplayed the rising new cases [inaudable question] do you agree with the president the numbers are going up because of increased testing? >> i can speak for myself. cases are increasing in the country because the coronavirus is not gone. in our state we have seen a
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rise, a significant increase we've seen in florida, arizona, texas, other places. clearly this is still with us. anna senator blunt has pointed out and i pointed out a few minutes ago, until we get the vaccine and the number of doses to take care of not only massive number of people who need it but around the world, we are going to have to try to live with this and that why social distancing in a mask is so important so clearly chance your question is, the coronavirus is not gone. it is increasing insignificant number of states across our country. reporter: you envision the same amount of money [inaudable question] >> we will lay out the specifics i will introduce a
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bill next few days that is a starting place that enjoys fairly significant support among republican senators probably not everyone. and at that point we will more specific on how to allocate. we do envision direct checks again. reporter: to move forward on the floor that starting point [inaudable question] >> good question that is a starting place for discussion with the democrats. clearly, they have the ability to prevent us from passing anything. that is been there mindset recently you saw what happened to tim scott's police reform bill, they would not even let us get on it. they are not irrelevant we have to talk to them. but the bill has to start somewhere. this will be the start. reporter: you can see they
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don't see the unemployment benefits -- people want to go back to work [inaudable question] >> there's always room for negotiation because the democrats are not irrelevant. we clearly, overwhelmingly feel that paying people more to stay home and going back to work as a deterrent to going back to work. you are not likely to see things starting place that i will be laying out the next couple of days. reporter: summer still waiting for non- regulatory guidance -- select farmers in the state of kentucky. [inaudible] [inaudable question] >> honestly, i am not on top of the latest on that. but in that whole space which is what you are referring to, it has been a rocky start to
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this new crop. even before the pandemic hit. that is not made anything easier. thank you. [background noises] [background noises] [background noises] >> we hear from senate minority leader chuck schumer on the latest efforts to pass another coronavirus relief bill. this is 20 minutes. >> good afternoon one and all. some of you i recognize and some of you i don't. but it's good you're here. i will first read a statement on the trump effort to ban undocumented immigrants from bein