Podcast | Patty Murray’s fight to reopen schools safely

The senator introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act last month. Now she's working to get it passed.

Patty Murray on a video call

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, appears via teleconference during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

Patty Murray has been busy. As the ranking member on the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the senior senator from the state of Washington is intimately involved in developing legislation to guide federal oversight of the areas of American life most impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the past month alone, she has introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act and issued a white paper calling for legislation that would assure that a vaccine be made available to all Americans. But Murray is also in the minority. At a time when so much is at stake, the Democratic lawmaker is tasked with both identifying solutions that she believes will save many lives and pushing them through a legislative process dominated by Republicans at a time of hyperpartisanship. On this week's edition of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we speak with the senator about her efforts to shore up schools and day care providers, the deep frustration she has for the Trump administration's approach to the pandemic and how, exactly, she figures to turn her plans into action. Plus, Crosscut reporter David Kroman delivers the latest on Seattle's efforts to rethink public safety and policing.