Representative of the Minority Leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy of R-California, outlined some of the next steps he thinks Congress needs to take to help Americans cope and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, in an interview with Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
First, however, McCarthy paid tribute to his friend, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. Lewis died Friday night at the age of 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Lewis, a civil rights icon, was among the speakers at the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and he was among the peaceful protesters who marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965.
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“As a young man he tried to cross a bridge just to give people the right to vote,” McCarthy said. “He did it peacefully and he was beaten almost to death.” McCarthy added that Lewis “did it peacefully to help change this nation.” … He made this nation better and he lived his life in a way that we can all respect and live, and he was kind to everyone.
Regarding the next coronavirus rescue program being developed in Congress, McCarthy noted that approximately $ 1.5 trillion already in Congress funding has yet to go into the economy, but he has highlighted some key elements which he believed should be resolved in the future.
“We need liability protection because these small businesses are wondering if they can reopen our schools and others,” he said. So let’s protect them as we go along. The protection of corporate liability is one of the issues President Trump has asked to be included in the new legislation.
McCarthy also noted that Congress had gone too far in previous unemployment insurance legislation because some people now earn more unemployment than they did at work. As a result, they are reluctant to return to the job market.
“Also look at it every time you use federal money, it shouldn’t deter the ability to work,” said McCarthy. “We made a mistake when we overpaid UI when now it’s hard for people to get back to work because they earn more from UI than they can work. So we have to sort it out as we go along.
The Republican leader also stressed the need to prioritize the safety of children in day care centers, as well as students and teachers in schools. He stressed the importance of sending children back to school, but that this must be done in a responsible manner.
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“When you look at these recent studies, you see that the children have not kept their reading, writing and math skills, losing more than 30%. We cannot have an entire generation without education, ”he warned. “So what we need to do is develop this plan, because we need to make sure the schools can reopen.”
McCarthy noted that two cities in his home state, Los Angeles and San Diego, have said they have no plans to reopen schools this year, and that it may be a premature decision given progress in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. .
“Remember what’s going on here with warping speed,” McCarthy said, referring to the White House plan to accelerate vaccine development. “We have five companies that are in BARDA that have real promise of having a vaccine, could even be this year. Or the therapies that present themselves. Tomorrow will be better than today, given what this administration is doing, ”he said.
McCarthy said the United States should also learn from this experience, especially when it comes to reliance on China.
“If we don’t learn from that, not the lies of China, but the return of these jobs to America, but also our supply chain itself,” he said. “Not being indebted to China for a lot of our critical minerals and the like, let’s find a way to improve it here and for our storage. I would do this in a different way, working with the private sector to store it. ”
The minority leader then called the Democrats to find out how they reacted to the recent unrest in cities like Portland, where protests after the death of George Floyd continued.
“Look at what Nancy Pelosi just said the other day. She thinks what’s going on in Portland is graffiti. No, it’s a crowd problem that is invading. You have people across this country who are afraid of death. You have murdered young children, ”he said.
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McCarthy also referred to pushing for the removal of various monuments, from those honoring Confederate figures to those commemorating America’s Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who were slave owners. . He said he was pushing for legislation that would punish cities that don’t do enough to protect monuments.
“Our bill will retain federal subsidies for cities that do not respect and protect the statues. Because cities have a responsibility for public order, not to leave these areas, not to allow these crowds to rule our communities, ”he said. “We have to resist that.”