Dear Colleague on Next Steps in Addressing Health and Economic Crisis
Dear Democratic Colleague,
Now that we have completed the coronavirus emergency relief and omnibus package, we must focus on the work to be done in the new Congress.
While we have recognized the urgent need for resources to crush the virus so we can open our economy and schools safely, we must also recognize that more needs to be done. To that end, we must honor our heroes, by supporting state and local government. It is important to know that in the COVID relief bills this year, Congress has appropriated nearly $1 trillion for PPP to save small business jobs but only $160 billion to save the jobs of our heroic frontline workers: our health care, first responders, transportation, sanitation, food and our teachers, our teachers, our teachers. It is also important to note that the GOP insisted on a tax break of a $160 billion for the wealthiest in America in CARES.
The legislation we pass today does acknowledge the role states must play in the distribution and administration of the vaccine, as well as in education and transportation as we go forward. However, state and local budgets are still overwhelmed by coronavirus expenses and revenue losses. As we agreed to the extension of the Coronavirus Relief Fund, I had hoped that Republicans would agree to flexibility, but they did not.
Thanks to the good work of our chairs and their committees in the 116th Congress, we are well prepared to develop strong legislation with the Biden-Harris Administration to Build Back Better.
The pandemic pulled back the curtain on the disparities in our economy and our society – and it also deepened the divide. In the new Congress, I am proposing a select committee to address economic disparities and promote fair growth. In doing so, Members have emphasized that our path forward must prioritize workforce development, child care and mental health.
As we observe the holidays, we carry in our hearts the over 315,000 lives that were lost to the virus, remembering them and their families in our prayers.
We advance this bill today as a first step. We have new hope which springs from the vaccine and from the commitment President-elect Biden has to following science. We are ready for the next step.
Best wishes to you and your family for a safe and Happy Holiday!