WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Bryan Steil spoke on the House floor on the importance of supporting families and workers struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. The House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by voice vote.
Click above to watch Steil’s floor speech
“Americans’ health and American jobs are being attacked by an invisible virus. Congress cannot stand idly by while Americans are suffering.
“While the CARES Act is far from perfect, it provides relief. This bill provides free coronavirus testing for Americans and ensures those on the front lines—our doctors, nurses, and health professionals—have the supplies they need. Additionally, the CARES Act protects the paychecks of people working at places like restaurants and hotels and provides assistance to workers who may lose their job due to coronavirus.
“Importantly, the CARES Act includes yet another fix to the to the poorly drafted Medicaid language included in the second coronavirus emergency response legislation. It is vital that we get this language right so states like Wisconsin have the federal assistance to ensure health care is available to our most vulnerable populations.
“However, at times, this bill leaves much to be desired. There is unnecessary spending throughout the bill, including $25 million for a Washington, D.C. theater.
“We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I will continue working with my colleagues to address this crisis,” said Steil.
The CARES Act passed the Senate earlier this week by a vote of 96-0. The CARES Act provides $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers; $11 billion for vaccines, therapeutics, and other medical needs; $4.3 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent and respond to coronavirus; and $562 million to protect workers’ paychecks.
Earlier this month, Steil voted for $8.3 billion in emergency coronavirus funding that is at work to mitigate the coronavirus, develop a vaccine, and allocate medical supplies to states.
Below is Steil’s full floor speech as submitted into the congressional record:
Americans’ health and American jobs are being attacked by an invisible virus.
And this House is called to respond.
Families and workers across the nation desperately need our help.
And they need it now.
Every American has to pay rent, pay their mortgage, and buy groceries.
Over the past week, I’ve heard stories of people struggling.
A young mother concerned about losing her job while caring for her kids.
A small gym owner concerned that she will have to lay off her eight employees.
And a doctor concerned about the coming weeks and lack of space, supplies, and ventilators for patients.
America is fighting on two fronts—a public health crisis and an economic crisis.
On one side, we have a public health crisis.
Our nurses, doctors, and health professionals are on the front lines of this pandemic.
Their work is keeping thousands of Americans safe, healthy, and alive.
And on the other, we have the crippling economic impacts.
Businesses are shuttered and record numbers are becoming unemployed.
Families need relief now.
While far from perfect, the CARES Act provides relief.
We are ensuring that coronavirus testing is free and accessible for everyone.
We are giving doctors, nurses, and hospitals supplies needed to keep themselves and their patients safe.
We are protecting the paychecks of people working at places like restaurants and hotels.
We are supporting states’ efforts to address the pandemic.
We are providing assistance to workers who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.
Importantly, this bill continues to fix past mistakes made by this House.
The CARES Act includes yet another fix to the poorly drafted Medicaid language included in the original version of the second coronavirus emergency response legislation.
It is vital that we get this language right so states like Wisconsin have the dollars we need to ensure health care is available to our most vulnerable populations.
At times, this bill leaves much to be desired.
I remain concerned about unnecessary provisions included in the bill.
This exacerbates Congress’ unnecessary spending habits, including $25 million for a Washington, D.C. theater.
I am disappointed that no amendments were allowed to be added to this bill.
However, the Senate did its job.
President Trump continues to do his.
Now, the House must do ours.
We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.