Tags: Coronavirus | jeffries | coronavirus relief bill | democrats | mitch mcconnell

Rep. Jeffries: GOP Drawing 'Line in the Sand' on Coronavirus Relief Bill

hakeem jeffries is seen in dress suit, dress shirt and tie
Hakeem Jeffries (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 August 2020 02:53 PM

Without help from the federal government, the nation will face dramatic cuts to many of its public services, and it is a "line in the sand" for Republicans to push a bill that does not help state and local governments, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Tuesday. 

"(Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell indicated he saw no need to assist state and local governments, even though we know budgets across the country have collapsed," the New York Democrat said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Unless we step in as a federal government, we're going to see dramatic cuts to public health, public safety, public education, public transportation, public sanitation, and the public good."

Democrats also believe that continuing the $600 unemployment insurance emergency benefit is essential because, in many places, people still do not have jobs they can return to, so "we've got to help out everyday Americans," said Jeffries. 

"Also we include in the act $175 billion in assistance for renters and homeowners who are struggling to pay their rent and their mortgages," said Jeffries. "The Senate bill is silent on the question of providing assistance to tenants and homeowners, and we think that that is ridiculous."

Meanwhile, four bipartisan bills already have passed this year, and Democrats expect there will be a fifth because of the urgency of the situation, but he expects that will happen because the House and the White House will get to a point where the Senate's hand will be forced, said Jeffries.

"Every time that we have arrived at an agreement in Washington, D.C., it is because the House and the presidency have gotten together to get something done," he said. "That was the case with criminal justice reform in 2018, that was also the case with the revised U.S./Mexico/Canada trade agreement last year."

He also spoke about voter security for the upcoming election, noting that in the CARES Act earlier this summer, $400 million in election security grants were included, and in the proposed House HEROES Act, another $3.6 billion is included. 

"We're fighting for that amount right now," said Jeffries, pointing out that the Trump administration has been resistant to voting by mail, but Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General William Barr all voted by mail this year. 

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Without help from the federal government, the nation will face dramatic cuts to many of its public services, and it is a "line in the sand" for Republicans to push a bill that does not help state and local governments, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Tuesday. 
jeffries, coronavirus relief bill, democrats, mitch mcconnell
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2020-53-04
Tuesday, 04 August 2020 02:53 PM
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