Click here to watch Thune’s speech.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed Senate Republicans’ top priorities in their effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak. These priorities include providing direct assistance to American workers and families, giving our economy necessary support, and providing medical professionals with the resources they need to fight the virus.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, here in the Senate, we’re continuing to move forward with the next installment of coronavirus relief legislation.
“I expect later today we will pass the bill passed by the House earlier and also looking beyond it to a third bill that would provide additional relief for the American people.
“As the leader has said, we have three priorities:
“Providing direct assistance to American workers and families.
“Giving our economy, especially our small businesses, the necessary support to weather this storm.
“And most importantly, providing medical professionals with the resources they need to fight this virus.
“The House bill addresses these priorities to some degree, but it is not a comprehensive bill, and additional legislation will be needed.
“We especially need to ensure that the worker benefit requirements the House bill places on small businesses are accompanied by sufficient support.
“Small businesses are at the most risk economically during this time, and we need to ensure they have the resources they need to get through this.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with my colleagues of both parties on the House bill and on additional legislation.
“This is a time for all of us to come together to ensure that medical professionals, American businesses, and American families have what they need to combat the coronavirus and deal with its effects.
“Mr. President, I can’t think of a time where we saw schools and businesses closing on such a mass scale.
“It’s a challenging time for our country, but if we pull together, we can get through this and come out even stronger.
“All of us have a role to play in combating this virus.
“Washing our hands regularly and thoroughly, practicing social distancing, staying home as much as possible, listening to advice from health care officials … all of these things are essential to “flattening the curve” and limiting the number of infected Americans.
“It’s vital that we keep as many people as possible from getting infected so that our hospitals and medical professionals are not overwhelmed with cases.
“Our medical professionals are putting their lives on the line every day to care for coronavirus patients.
“Let’s make sure we do everything we can to keep the number of cases they’re dealing with as low as possible.
“Mr. President, in difficult times, Americans rise to the occasion.
“And I am confident that’s what we will do again.”