U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) today spoke on the Senate floor and called on Congress to pass a simple seven-day extension of expanded unemployment benefits while Congress finishes negotiations on the next coronavirus relief package.
“I’m asking Senators to simply extend expanded unemployment benefits for seven days while Congress comes up with a solution,” McSally said. “With the first of August approaching, Americans out of work are counting on us for cash so they can pay their rent and put food on the table for their families.”
Watch her remarks HERE and see the full transcript below:
I deployed to Washington to be a pragmatic problem solver. And for the past five and a half years, I’ve made it my mission in Congress to better the lives of hardworking Arizonans. In a time of toxic partisanship, this is no easy feat. It requires reaching across the aisle to find where the Venn diagram overlaps. Today, I’m calling on my Senate colleagues to be pragmatic, to meet in the middle on what we should agree on. I’m asking Senators to simply extend expanded unemployment benefits for seven days while Congress comes up with a solution. Who could be against that?
With the first of August approaching, Americans out of work are counting on us for cash so they can pay their rent and put food on the table for their families. And while some states will get the expanded checks, we understand for the next week or two, Arizonans have gotten their last expanded check. These are Arizonans who are in my neighborhood, who live on my street, who worked paycheck to paycheck before this once-in-a-century pandemic hit.
Well, I’m here to tell them that Washington, D.C.’s dysfunction and bickering is alive and well. Congress once again is using hardworking Americans as pawns in their political games. For the many of Arizonans out of work right now, this is not a game.
Americans and Arizonans are calling out for our help and it’s time we deliver it.
What I’m offering today is a simple seven-day extension of the extra $600 a week for unemployed Americans while we work through our differences on how to move forward and see Americans through this first in a century crisis. This is a reasonable proposal. Who could possibly be against this?
I understand as we work to defeat this virus—which we will—and support the economic recovery of our country, we need to incentivize people to return to work safely when they are able.
There are disagreements in this chamber on what that looks like, what the ultimate dollar figure or percentage will be, where we land and for how long, but what I know today is that Congress needs to do their job and prevent this desperately-needed extra lifeline from fully expiring.
In this uncertain time, everyone is doing the best we can: to make ends meet, to help each other, to help our neighbors, to stay safe. Everyone, that is except, Congress.
Americans who have lost their livelihoods out of no fault of their own due to this cruel virus should not be collateral damage of political maneuvering.
I am calling on the Senate, let’s do what we were sent here to do. Let’s do our job. In the face of this virus, we have asked millions of Americans to go back to work when they can safely, to make hard decisions, and do what they were hired to do.
It is time for the Senate to do the same. This is a reasonable request. It is simply a seven-day extension of the expanded unemployment benefits, while we continue to work out our differences. Who could possibly be against this?
Therefore, I ask for unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to immediate consideration of my bill at the desk. I further ask that the bill be considered and read a third time and passed and that the motion to consider be considered and laid upon the table.
Mr. President, this is disappointing and a political stunt and a game and for all the normal people watching out there who don’t understand why Washington is so dysfunctional we’re just looking for a seven-day extension so they can get another check and pay their rent.
I asked the question ‘who could possibly be against this?’ Well, we found out. It’s the Senator from New York. So you can clip the tape or put his picture on your refrigerator when you open it up, because it’s the Minority Leader who is against this on his path to try and become the Majority Leader and that’s unfortunate.
Arizonans deserve better.