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Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told “Special Report” on Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are “wasting time that we as a nation do not have” as Congress continues to negotiate a coronavirus emergency relief bill.
“There is a desperate need and every day that it is delayed, those needs are not being met,” Barrasso said. “… We need to get this passed now and get rid of all these extraneous things, focus on the virus and focus on the needs of defeating the virus and the needs of the people who, through no fault of their own, are out of work as a result of what has happened in their lives by the government stepping in and saying, ‘Stay home.'”
“There is a desperate need and every day that it is delayed, those needs are not being met.”
— Sen. John Barrasso
Asked by host Bret Baier whether negotiations could end later Tuesday and a compromise bill immediately go up for a vote, Barrasso slammed Pelosi for her lack of urgency and House Democrats’ “liberal wish list” of issues that are unrelated to the coronavirus crisis.
“The American people need relief, and we want to get it to them tonight. Nancy says if we don’t do it today we could do it tomorrow. That sense of urgency is not felt by her in the way it is felt by the people at home who are watching and waiting for relief,” he said.
“I’m a doctor and have been talking to doctors and I know what they need,” Barrasso continued. “Immediate relief is needed by Americans who need the support that they are not getting in terms of their job, 150 million Americans, many not allowed to go to work. So we put together what was started as a bipartisan piece of legislation to address these needs.”
“These are supposed to be targeted needs, temporary relief and answers for people,” Barrasso said, “but yet Nancy Pelosi showed up here on Sunday with a liberal wish list that has slowed down the entire process.”
Pelosi’s emergency relief bill addresses “wind turbines, solar panels, the Green New Deal for airplanes, election reform, planned parenthood and new powers for members of unions,” Barrasso complained.
“I have to tell the American people who are listening that Republicans are ready to act to provide relief in this rescue operation for our health care providers and they need it,” he reiterated.
Shifting to President Trump’s announcement earlier Tuesday that he hopes the U.S. economy would be “opened up” by Easter, Barrasso said he “shares the president’s goals” but the situation must be further evaluated close to April 12, when Easter Sunday falls.
The senator also encouraged the public to obey the guidelines put forth by U.S. health officials, which include social distancing and careful handwashing.
“That’s an ambitious guideline… I share the president’s goals there,” he said. “You have to evaluate the situation on the ground rather than the calendar on the wall.”
“The best way to get there is by abiding by the things that they’ve recommended so far to slow and stop the spread of the disease. That’s the best way that we can get to that goal of Easter Sunday.”