Mitch McConnell, Thom Tillis, and Senate Republicans are holding up a desperately needed federal aid package to address the growing coronavirus threat, even as North Carolina state leaders take important measures and North Carolinians alter their daily lives to stop the spread of the virus.
Rather than stay in Washington to help craft the federal government’s response last week, Senator Tillis and Mitch McConnell left town for the weekend, during which the number of coronavirus cases across the state continued to rise. The aid package, passed by the U.S. House and supported by President Trump, would enact critical measures like free testing, paid emergency leave, and food assistance to help families cope with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Tillis and Mitch McConnell were “absent” during negotiations of the aid package last week and tried to shift blame away from the administration’s failures to get necessary tests and supplies to those potentially affected. Tillis last week insisted the President “has taken every step he can to help the safety of the people in the United States” and said that he displayed “decisive leadership.” Tillis even said that concern over chaos caused by the president is “not productive,” even as other Republican senators have questioned the administration’s response.
“North Carolina families are doing everything they can to protect themselves during this public health outbreak yet Senator Tillis is refusing to act quickly and is still sitting on a critical aid package,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “It is long past time for Senator Tillis to stand up to Mitch McConnell and demand action on the bipartisan emergency aid package. What is he waiting for?”