On Fox News, Portman Discusses President Trump’s Economic Message, Need for Additional COVID-19 Legislation

October 22, 2020 | Portman Difference

This afternoon on Fox News’s Your World with Neil Cavuto, Senator Portman expressed his disappointment that Senate Democrats continue to block COVID-19 relief legislation that would help the national economy, small businesses, employers, the health care system, schools, and families who need additional help. Earlier this week, Senate Democrats once again blocked consideration of legislation to restart the Payment Protection Program and help small businesses, as well as legislation to provide $300/week in federal enhanced unemployment benefits through December 27, extend the timeline in which CARES Act funding can be spent which is crucial for state and local governments, provide $16 billion for increased testing and contact tracing, $31 billion for vaccine development, and $105 billion to ensure our children are safe in schools.

In addition, Portman highlighted the economic accomplishments of President Trump. Before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic devastated the economy, the United States was experiencing unprecedented economic growth with continual wage increases for more than a year and a half and unemployment rates at a historic low across the country. Portman believes President Trump will continue to help restore and rebuild the American economy in the months and years ahead.

Excerpts of the interview can be found below and a video can be found here.  

PORTMAN ON PASSING ANOTHER COVID STIMULUS PACKAGE BEFORE ELECTION

“Well, it’s now hard to imagine, but I think the biggest reason we are not going to see it is I think that the Speaker of the House is not willing to be flexible and she has shown that repeatedly. Poor Steve Mnuchin, he has done everything he can to try to come up with an agreement here. The president wants an agreement. The president has said that repeatedly, publicly and privately. But I think Democrats feel as though an agreement before the election is not in their interest. It’s too bad because we are not out of woods yet either on the economy or on the COVID-19 crisis. And we should be passing legislation. We had a vote in the Senate yesterday that was incredible. It was a targeted package that had frankly, mostly bipartisan measures in it to provide more money for schools and provide more money for the vaccine. To help with small businesses, PPP. And Democrats refused even to get on the legislation to debate it. So, I mean, that says it all. And I hope that we’ll be able to get to it before the election but I don’t see how it happens when Democrats seem unwilling, especially Speaker Pelosi, to move that bill forward. Right after the election, I think you will see a change of heart.”

PORTMAN ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ECONOMIC MESSAGE

“Well, I think you can walk and chew gum at the same time. In other words, these are obviously legitimate concerns that should be raised. But you know what? John Roberts talked about bread-and-butter issues. That’s what I think the undecided voter really wants to hear about. I think that will be much more effective. The president has a great message on that, because the economy, going into COVID, was incredible. Not just in terms of the macroeconomic growth but what it was doing to lift up people, give more people opportunity, close the wage gap, reduce the poverty rate to historic levels, lowest unemployment level for many, many decades for many groups that had been left out of the economic progress in the previous administration. So, look, he’s got a great story to tell about the economy. And it’s a very simple one, ‘I did it before. I can do it again.’ Let’s not go to higher taxes and more regulations and trying to stop from using our energy in this country because those are the things that created all the growth.”

“Ideally, Neil, the press would be asking Joe Biden about this, right? So ideally the moderator would be posing tough questions to Joe Biden just as they have posed to President Trump. And he would have to respond. And that would be the appropriate way to get at it. But the issue has to come up. My point is that I think the more important issue, frankly to all Americans, but particularly to those voters who are yet undecided, and it’s not a big group but there are some out there, is the economy, one, and two, the COVID response. And I think the president has a good response to both and he ought to be sure people hear it. With regard to the economy, I think it’s particularly strong because of what Vice President Biden would want to do with the economy. In other words, he wants to do all the things that are going to make it harder for people to get ahead and the Trump economy going into the COVID-19, again, was really impressive, particularly for lower and middle-income workers and for families that had been struggling for years that had gotten back into the workforce and seeing higher wages and better benefits. So it’s a good story. You have seen the story. You’ve looked at the new Census data, I’m sure, and new data from the Federal Reserve along with the Labor Department data. It was really truly an opportunity economy. And that’s what the president ought to talk about.”

###