Less than 12 hours from shepherding the passage of a massive and complex coronavirus relief and stimulus bill through the United States Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined us on Thursday’s Focus on the Family radio program to discuss the historic legislation.
It’s always an honor to host Kentucky’s senior senator, although his appearance this time around comes at a moment of great peril for the nation.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the emergency relief package today, setting in motion a plan designed to provide immediate help to hospitals, families, governmental municipalities and businesses reeling from the global outbreak of COVID-19.
Responding to criticism of the massive $2 trillion expenditure, but citing the global pandemic and the cratering of the economy, Mr. McConnell acknowledged, “There was no alternative.”
“It’s nobody’s fault. I mean, nobody did anything wrong,” he added. “This is not like a bank bailout. No one did anything wrong. We’re trying to bend the curve and get this public health crisis behind us. And the best advice we’re getting is that people have to separate, and that leads into this situation we’ve found ourselves in now.”
The majority leader shared that some in the Senate were determined to include dollars for Planned Parenthood in the bill – a debate, he was happy to report, pro-life legislators won. The relief and stimulus package unanimously passed by the United States Senate did not include any funds for abortion providers.
Passage of the stimulus bill was not a foregone conclusion earlier in the week as special interests repeatedly attempted to torpedo the relief and stimulus effort. Despite the delays and roller coaster debate, Senator McConnell said things still came together at “warp speed,” in contrast to the usual pace of most legislation in Washington.
Mr. McConnell told me that he’s seen some silver linings in the dark clouds of this crisis.
“We’ve all taken inspiration from the way the American public has reacted to this,” he said. “As strangers helping strangers. People looking for ways to be helpful. Particularly with, for example, volunteers delivering things to nursing homes and to elderly people who are stuck at home as a result of this … the American public’s reaction to this has been an inspiration.”
I’m grateful for Majority Leader McConnell’s leadership and hope you’ll join me in praying for him and his colleagues, along with all of those suffering and struggling to battle this virus.
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