Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., urged action on the combined omnibus appropriations bill and COVID-19 relief package late Friday as President Donald Trump signed a continuing resolution in effect through Sunday night that Congress had passed earlier.
The White House said at 10:17 p.m. that Trump had signed H.J.Res. 107, the Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021, “which provides fiscal year 2021 appropriations to federal agencies through December 20, 2020, for continuing projects and activities of the federal government.”
If the Congress had not passed the bill and Trump had not signed it, the government would have shut down at midnight tonight.
The Senate passed the two-day spending bill by voice vote after the House approved it on a 320 to 60 vote.
But Stabenow said in a floor speech Friday, “We need to pass this critical COVID-19 legislation today and give the American people the help they need and the help they deserve to survive the next few months of this health and economic crisis.”
“A wonderful bipartisan effort brought us to this moment where we can provide a critical lifeline to Americans across the country. It would be a tragedy and an outrage if partisan efforts to undermine our economy and the success of our incoming president stops this urgent help from being passed. We need to get this done now.”
“Up to 50 million Americans are struggling to feed their families right now. One out of four American households have experienced food insecurity in the last year,” she added.
“People who volunteer at the food bank. People who have always contributed to the food bank now find themselves waiting in their car for hours and hours for a box of food in the United States of America. We not only have a health pandemic, we have a hunger crisis going on, and people need help now. Now we have a health pandemic. We have a hunger crisis going on, and people need help now.”
Stabenow said that Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., “thinks it's more important to take away the federal government's ability to help people and help businesses and create jobs, than it is to actually help people. ... I don't understand what he said, that preventing the next Treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve from relaunching the emergency credit facilities that support manufacturers and other job providers is 'the most important thing' in the COVID-19 package.
“Really, taking away economic tools for the Treasury and the Fed are more important than people in our country, small businesses, farmers who have been hanging on? Really?"
“The emergency powers that the Federal Reserve has were put in place during the 2008 financial crisis so that the Fed could respond quickly to the next crisis. Well, here we are in the next crisis. The crisis is all around us, and yet some are laser focused on taking away the Fed's ability to respond in the future with a new president. Not the current president, but the future presidents.
“This is like a fire department selling off its fire trucks while houses down the street are burning.”
? Senator Stabenow: Michigan Families Need a Survival Package Now (video) https://www.youtube.com/…
? The New York Times — Biden Transition Updates: Congress Passed Short-Term Spending Bill as Stimulus Talks Continued
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at email@example.com
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