Senator Critical of Days-Long Delay as Dems Pushed Liberal Agenda Irrelevant to Fighting Pandemic or Helping the American People

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) tonight voted for historic legislation to provide crucial resources for the U.S. health care system, small businesses, food providers, workers and families as the nation grapples with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Hyde-Smith, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was sharply critical of Democratic partisan gamesmanship, which delayed Senate consideration of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for days.  The bill, passed 96-0, represents the third and largest phase of federal resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“There isn’t a single facet of our society that is not being touched by the coronavirus pandemic.  The CARES Act is all about alleviating human suffering, both from a health and financial standpoint,” Hyde-Smith said.

“A lot of bipartisan input went into this legislation, which we’ve been waiting days to pass.  It is not perfect and may require fine-tuning, but it is what the people of Mississippi and this country need in these unprecedented times.  It will begin to provide immediate and targeted assistance where it is needed most,” she said.

Hyde-Smith said the measure adheres to the four key pillars outlined initially for a Phase 3 COVID-19 relief package:

  • Help small businesses survive this crisis and help workers continue to be paid.
  • Direct financial help for Americans in the middle class on down.
  • Provide targeted lending to industries of national importance.
  • Strengthen the American health care system by removing regulatory barriers, funding hospitals and health centers, expanding access to medical tools, and accelerating innovation on treatments and a vaccine.

Hyde-Smith remains critical of Senate Democrats for filibustering the bill since Sunday and for opposing provisions important to agriculture.  In blocking the bill, congressional Democrats pushed to include in the legislation strictly-partisan items, such as solar tax credits, funding for sanctuary cities, and cancelling the U.S. Postal Service debt.

“The Democrats’ filibuster of this bill is indefensible,” Hyde-Smith said.  “It was wrong to try to load down an already-huge bill with ideological baggage, everything from the Green New Deal to post-election audits—none of which is relevant to the ongoing health and economic crisis.”

Summaries of major provisions in the CARES Act (HR.748), which is the largest health care and economic rescue package in U.S. history, are available:

  • HERE - Keeping Workers Paid and Employed, Health Care System Enhancements, and Economic Stabilization; and
  • HERE - Emergency Supplemental Appropriations.