News Releases

Senator Murray: “As a mom, and a grandmother, the thought of using students’ safety as a bargaining chip is truly appalling—and  I hope that Senate Republicans don’t stoop to that level just because the President wants to.” 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s recent efforts to push schools to ignore public health guidelines and reopen in-person by threatening to withhold federal funding or through other “incentives.” Senator Murray urged Republicans to stop bullying schools and to work with Democrats to pass the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA), a $430 billion dollar bill to address the national child care and education emergencies and provide support to students and families—particularly students and families of color who have been disproportionately impacted by this virus—schools, and educators across the country during this pandemic.

“We’ve got to ensure our students, families, and educators stay safe and that we give schools the resources they need to provide all students a quality education either in-person, through distance learning, or a hybrid of both—while following local public health guidance.

“Everyone wants schools to physically reopen, but we need to make sure it’s done safely. Democrats have a plan to give schools the resources they need to keep their campuses safe and to keep students learning, whether in-person or online, while the President is irresponsibly trying to bully schools into reopening no matter the risk. As a mom, and a grandmother, the thought of using students’ safety as a bargaining chip is truly appalling—and I hope Senate Republicans don’t stoop to that level just because the President wants to.”

As part of their effort to force schools to physically reopen, the Coronavirus Task Force also announced today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would issue new guidance on reopening schools—following President Trump’s tweet that the current guidance published on May 19th is too “tough.” Senator Murray released an additional statement on this announcement:

“We need to count on the CDC to give us public health guidance based on scientific information, and if the President interferes with that to suit his political interests, we have a huge problem,” said Senator Murray. “I’ll keep pushing to ensure that students, families and educators can trust that the CDC’s guidelines are based on science—not on President Trump’s Twitter outbursts.”

###