Sen. Cramer: 'Schumer Has to Pull Up His Big Boy Pants and Take Control of His Own Conference'

By Susan Jones | March 24, 2020 | 10:30am EDT
Sen. Kevin  Cramer (R-N.D.) (Photo: Screen capture)
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said on Tuesday morning it's time for the Senate to vote on a relief package to help Americans sidelined from their jobs through no fault of their own.

"I think we had a good compromise package on Sunday night, and I wish we would have voted right away. Today is the day to do that. And if a few more things get added in, we're going to pass it because the American people need help now."

Cramer said he's optimistic, "but I'm also willing to wait and see what happens because I just can't be sure where Chuck Schumer's head is right now."

Cramer said things were moving in a bipartisan direction until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to town, waving a bill of her own that includes Democrat agenda items unrelated to the needed relief. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the 1,400-page House bill an "encyclopedia" on Tuesday.)

"The one major sticking point is Nancy Pelosi's interruption of all of this," Cramer said.

Her coming into town, proposing her own deal that is a Disney world wish list instead of a reality check, and Chuck Schumer yielding to her, quite frankly, and I think it's time for the Senate to be the Senate.

Chuck Schumer has to pull up his big boy pants and take control of his own conference instead of letting her having control of it. That's the biggest sticking point. We have to stop it at some point.

We've lost two days unnecessarily doing this. When you extrapolate that two days out, what will those two days be worth a week from now or two weeks from now as it gets worse, and every day, lives are lost, people get sick and losing their jobs. The urgency seems to be lost on this speaker.

Cramer noted that compromise requires both sides to "give a little."

Here the compromise seems to be, just keep adding. And what I would say to the American people is, if you have a Democratic United States senator, call that person and tell them to get to work, vote, bring up the vote, pass the bill, wherever it is at this current time. You know, $1 trillion became $1.6 trillion, which is now $2 trillion.

But with regard to their arguments, remember, Democrats were at the table throughout the weekend sitting safely, at a safe distance, across from Republicans, hashing this stuff out. There's a lot in there for companies for sure. But there's a lot in there for workers. And by the way, companies hire workers. And I just think you need to get back to what you recall from Economics 101 and how wealth is created.

And some of the disagreements are legitimate. I frankly like the Democrats' push for more money in the unemployment insurance fund, for example. But at the same time we want to provide incentives that keep people working, not incentives for companies to lay people off.

Cramer said the Senate bill "has a lot in it for small business, medium size business and yes, large business, but most importantly the employees that work for them. And there are plenty of safeguards. There are guardrails in a lot of this money so that for example CEOs can't get pay raises. You can't buy stocks back."


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