WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 4, 2021) — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released the following statement Wednesday regarding serving as Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee:
“Today, I have the immense honor of taking the helm of the committee that I feel represents the heart and soul of this country. From health care, to education, to supporting workers and retirees, and ensuring everyone can live with dignity and respect, the issues we tackle are the issues that families across this country face in their everyday lives.
“This is not a responsibility I take lightly—especially because the challenges we face are so dire. We have a monumental task ahead of us to dig out of the catastrophic hole the Trump Administration left us and finally get our COVID-19 response on track.
“With the Biden-Harris Administration, I’m confident we can end this chapter in our nation’s history. There is an enormous amount of work ahead of us, and the more our committee can unite around a shared commitment to matching this crisis with strong policies that truly meet this moment and focus foremost on what families and communities need, the faster we can ease the suffering and stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We also need to be very clear: ‘getting back to normal’ isn’t enough moving forward requires addressing the profound challenges that have always kept families up at night and tackling the harsh realities of systemic racism, inequity, sexism, and ableism. Too many people don’t know how they’re going to pay their medical bills, put food on their table, earn a livable wage, plan for retirement, or afford a quality education.
“This committee has an opportunity to work together and make meaningful, long-term progress for workers, students, women, and families, beyond this pandemic. To do this, in all our work, it is important to me that in our policymaking we work to examine and eradicate systemic racism and discrimination, which has too often led to communities of color, Tribal communities, people with disabilities, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community being left behind.
“I appreciate the positive conversations I’ve had so far with Ranking Member Burr, and I look forward to working with him and all the dedicated, hardworking members of our committee in the critical weeks and months ahead. Given the historic crisis our country faces, we can start by moving quickly to confirm the qualified nominees in the HELP committee’s jurisdiction so the Biden-Harris Administration response team can get to work.”