WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Republican Conference Secretary Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), House Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), and Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) at today’s leadership press stakeout to blast House Democrats’ misguided policies that put the needs of American families last. Whip Scalise outlined Republican priorities to safely reopen schools and secure our southern border.
Whip Scalise also criticized New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order mandating COVID-19 positive patients to be admitted to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, his actions to cover up the scandal, and his obstruction of congressional oversight and justice.
On Democrats’ misguided priorities:
“Good morning, good to see all of you. If you look at the House schedule this week, it’s yet one more example of Speaker Pelosi pushing a socialist agenda that’s focused on taking away the rights of hardworking families while also bankrupting the next generation with mountains of debt that are focused not on COVID relief.
“If you look, over 90 percent of the bill that they’re going to bring back on the spending, $1.9 trillion spending bill, it’s not focused on COVID relief, it’s focused on pushing more of the far-left agenda. It’s very concerning, when you look at both what happened in the House and in the Senate, Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer shut Republicans out of the process completely. In fact, President Biden was offered the ability to work with Republicans, and he chose to have a go-it-alone strategy as well. And that lets Americans down all across this country who wanted to see a package that was focused on helping families, on helping small businesses stay afloat, and on helping reopen schools.
“We brought amendments, for example, to double the number of vaccines so that we could get more Americans vaccinated quickly, and that was rejected on a party-line vote. There was an amendment in the Senate to say that felons in prison shouldn’t be able to get taxpayer checks, and that was voted down on a party-line vote. So clearly, when you look at the priorities of Speaker Pelosi, it’s to spend as much money as quickly as possible on her socialist agenda, and to turn her backs on those of us who want to work together to confront this virus and to safely reopen our economy and our schools.”
On the crisis at our southern border:
“You can just look at the crisis on the border. It’s a major, major national scandal. Jeh Johnson, the Obama Homeland Security Secretary, once said that if there were a thousand or more illegal crossings, that was a bad day. Today, we’re seeing three or four thousand illegal crossings a day at our southern border. It is a national crisis and it needs to be confronted by President Biden, and he refuses to acknowledge this. There’s super-spreader caravans coming across our southern border. I think it’s an interesting, misplaced priority that the Biden Administration’s agenda is to open America’s borders and close America’s schools. This is the wrong approach. This is not focusing on the hardworking families of this country.”
On safely reopening schools:
“The science says that the schools should be open now, every school should be open, teaching kids in the classroom. And every day they refuse to do that, it’s setting those kids back even further. Millions of American kids are being denied the ability to learn and to be able to compete. And the science is clear that the schools should be reopened. Again, we put more money, Ashley Hinson’s bill was offered up during the process of moving this bill forward, to say if schools get more money, it has to be to reopen so that kids could be learning in the classroom, and it was rejected by every Democrat. Which begs the question, what do they need this money for, if it’s not to reopen schools during this pandemic?
“And so, again, we’re going to continue to fight for those hardworking families, we’re going to continue to fight to reopen schools safely, to follow the science, not the union bosses. When you see a union boss fighting to keep the public schools closed while taking the parents’ money, but sending their own kids to private schools, it just shows you they’re not even following the science. There’s a tremendous amount of hypocrisy and double standard involved in the people that want to take hard-earned money of these taxpayers across the country while not fighting for them, for their families, for their children. So we’re going to continue to do that, we’re going to continue to try to fight for an agenda that works for families, not to push this socialist agenda that Nancy Pelosi’s bringing to the Floor.”
On demanding accountability for Governor Cuomo’s deadly nursing home order:
“Finally, I want to mention, this scandal involving Governor Cuomo, it’s a scandal on multiple fronts. It’s not just the sexual harassment scandal, which is very concerning, but it’s also the scandal of what he did to seniors in nursing homes, starting with his order that went against federal CMS guidelines, forcing seniors who were COVID-positive to go back into nursing homes and prohibiting those nursing homes from testing for COVID, led to thousands of deaths that should have never happened.
“The Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus Republicans, back in June, started asking Governor Cuomo for the data. He refused back then, called us names. Seems to have a pattern of bullying, but he never gave those families an answer. We are continuing to fight for those families who deserve an answer. It’s recently come out that not only did he potentially obstruct justice in hiding the data, but he may have actually directed his own employees to manipulate the data, to lie about the number of deaths that could have been used to help prevent more deaths.
“And so I would call on President Biden to rescind his designation of Governor Cuomo as the ‘gold standard’ for COVID leadership. That’s not the gold standard, that is an epic failure that led to the deaths of thousands of people. And Governor Cuomo needs to come clean with the American people, with the people of New York, parents, children who lost their grandparents and their parents, who demand answers, who deserve answers to that data. And we’re going to continue fighting for those families.”