Floor Speech on Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help Act of 2020
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of increasing direct payments to Americans to $2,000 via H.R. 9051, the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act of 2020. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding and I thank him for his masterful work in not only bringing this legislation to the Floor, but working in a bipartisan way on so many important initiatives in the COVID and the Omnibus bill that the President happily signed for us last evening. I thank him for his initiatives that are job-creating, that stimulate the economy and that help meet the needs of the American people.
I'm interested in the comments made by Mr. Brady, because he said we could be putting more money into small business and we do, indeed, in the COVID package, around $300 billion. And I think it is important to note, Madam Speaker, that that brings it to about, almost a trillion dollars since March 27th – 28th – when the President signed the CARES Act, about $950 billion for small business. Nearly a trillion dollars, very important.
Small business is the heart of our economy. What could be more optimistic for anyone to do than to follow their dream, start a small business, create jobs, create wealth, create capital? So important. We see the importance of that to the tune of about a trillion dollars, just under a trillion dollars in these past several months.
But, if you want to talk about job creation, I hope the gentleman will join us when we go forward to do state and local: our health care workers, honoring our heroes. They are at risk while losing their jobs and they risk their lives to save lives. We are talking about health care workers. We are talking about police and fire, our first responders. We are talking about transportation, sanitation, food workers. We are talking about our teachers, our teachers, our teachers, the custodians of our children for a large part of their day. They are at risk of losing their jobs because of the failure of the Republican side of the aisle to support funds for state and local governments to honor our heroes.
We want to honor them. We cheer them and applaud them. Let's give them pay. Let’s let them have job security. Let’s give them PPE, the equipment that they need to do their jobs. So, if you want to talk about saving jobs or growing jobs, for the purpose the distinguished gentleman from Texas mentioned, how are we going to administer – focus on the distribution and administration of the vaccine? Where do you think that happens but in city, county and state hospitals in large measure, by health care workers in those places wherever it is distributed on an individual basis? But, they are the heart of the matter.
And that is why we need to go forward with another bill that invests in our state and local governments, not to talk about government, but to talk about services: health care services, education, transportation, making our lives possible, making our very existence possible by what they do. And, without them, how do we function?
So, again, let's create jobs. Let's save jobs. Let’s grow jobs by administering this vaccine as fairly, as equitably as possible, and free to everyone in our country because we are not protected, none of us – unless all of us are protected, none of us is protected.
So, this $2,000 – which, thank you for bringing to the Floor on Christmas Eve. Was roundly rejected by our Republican – asked for Unanimous Consent, this could already be, exist as a law if it happened, but it didn’t. So, now, today we have another chance.
Some of the Republicans said, ‘Oh, if they really wanted that, they would have called for a vote that day.’ That wasn’t true. It’s important to note that was a pro forma session and you had to have the consent of the Republicans to bring the bill to the Floor. They withheld their consent.
So, here we are today, in a legislative day, where we just act with the Majority to bring the legislation to the Floor. I hope it will enjoy a strong bipartisan support. The President of the United States has put this forth as something that he wants to see and part of his signing the legislation yesterday. I hope that will be – that view will be shared by the Republicans in the Senate. Because we will pass this bill today. Either under suspension or under a rule, where it just requires a majority vote. Under suspension, as you know, two-thirds vote, requires Republican, a large number of Republican votes, which I hope we will have, because I do think the American people would love to see that unity on their behalf.
We are a consumer economy. Putting money into the hands of the American people is a boost to our economy. Not much. This isn't a big stimulus package. It’s a – the COVID bill is an emergency supplemental. But this piece will make it, will make it something very important to growing – sustaining our economy.
And I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the work that your committee did. Brandon, thank him, and the others, for putting in the Dependent clause. Otherwise, sixteen years and under would get the direct payment. But me, as a mother of five, grandmother of nine, I know that children are dependent after sixteen years, especially if they are still in school. And there are others who are dependent because of one thing or another, some physical challenges that they may have in life. Who knows what goes on in a family. But, nonetheless, if they are dependent, they will be receiving the direct payment, another important boost for America's working families, another important boost for our economy as we go forward.
So, let us – let me, again, thank the Chairman for his work. It's a simple vote to put more money. Our goals have been: crush the virus, crush the virus, honor our heroes who help us crush the virus, and put money in the pockets of the American people. Today, we would be doing that right now. This legislation would be a lifeline for millions of Americans. It improves on the previously passed relief bill by including dependents, ensuring that families with children in college and adults living with disabilities or elderly family members can also receive relief.
Republicans have a choice. Republicans have a choice: vote for this legislation or vote to deny the American people the bigger paychecks this need. To reject this would be in denial of the economic challenges that people are facing and it would deny them, again, the relief they need. And with that, I urge a strong bipartisan vote for the aptly named CASH act.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.