Washington, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) joins Stuart Varney on Varney & Co. to discuss Congressional efforts to support American workers, small businesses, and oil producers during COVID-19.
Click HERE or on the below image to watch the full interview on Fox Business from Monday, March 30th.
“I think we can, and I think the President will. He’s on the phone with these leaders, Secretary Pompeo is leaning in. There’s a lot that can be done there. There’s something we could have done in Congress in this last bill, and that’s put cheap oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We had $3 billion set up to do that, that would have helped the oil patch. Unfortunately, that got nixed in the process. But at least we’re not selling expensive oil out of the SPR for reduced prices, we did get that stock. But we should’ve been adding oil into it.”
WATCH -> Rep. Walden on if we’re flattening the curve
“I think it’s too early to tell. I think we have to see what happens now that we’re expanding testing, and I want to give a big shoutout to Dr. Hahn at the FDA and the whole Trump administration for moving these emergency use authorities so that companies like Abbott can now have 50,000 tests into the market by the end of this week or there outs? That can give a result in 5 minutes. Once we get more ubiquitous in the testing, once everybody can get it that needs it and get a return in a very timely basis. Then we’ll have better data that tells us, but certainly social distancing is helping. We hope that this is flattening the curve, but we still think this is too early to say.”
“Remember [Speaker Pelosi] was handing out impeachment pens at the same time President Trump was convening a coronavirus task force in January. We didn’t get the genome from China until January 10th; he put a stop-flight order in on China on I believe the 21st of January and got heavily criticized for doing the right thing. He’s been leading all the way along. Look, I chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee. We wrote the Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act. We were asking for hearings, and the Democrats wouldn’t do it. We need to focus on the immediate now: what is it that we can do that will help people, save lives, get the equipment out there? And I think the President has used every authority effectively and with Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci right around him. They’re doing a good job in a very difficult environment. I even heard former HHS secretary Donna Shalala a few weeks ago say “look I had HHS, this is not stuff I’m going to criticize.” That sort of ad-hominem attack by Speaker Pelosi is not appropriate, it’s not accurate, it’s not necessary, and it’s not helpful.”
“It’s a Herculean effort. I was with Secretary Mnuchin and the President in the oval office on Friday when he signed the bill, and Secretary Mnuchin said then, “You know, I’m going to make this happen. I’m going to throw everything I can at it.” I was a small business owner with my wife for 21 years. We were in the radio business. I understand small business. This is a very helpful package, and you will be able to go to your lender. It’s a 7A SBA loan, 100% back, and if you keep your workforce on, that loan will be forgiven in large measure.