Rep. Angie Craig Renews Call for Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief
Today, Rep. Angie Craig joined Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-02) in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seeking legislative action on a revised COVID-19 relief package when members return to Washington next week.
“We write to you now to implore you to bring a revised and streamlined COVID-19 relief package to the floor next week. Americans are counting on us; they cannot wait any longer,” the members wrote. “We are asking you to bring up a bill that demonstrates our commitment to meeting [the White House and Senate] in the middle, as we have expressed our willingness to do, and advance it through the House with the haste this crisis demands.”
The letter was also signed by Reps. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Susie Lee (NV-03), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Michael San Nicolas (GU-AL), and Susan Wild (PA-07).
The letter highlights the growing need for relief to help unemployed Americans, small businesses, and those still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also highlights the waning effects of relief passed through bipartisan efforts last spring.
“The returns of a onetime stimulus check of $1,200 are all but completely diminished – doing little at this point to stimulate the economy or ensure Americans can pay their bills,” the members wrote.
The letter also acknowledges the state of the current stalemate in negotiations – including the Senate’s failure to demonstrate interest in a compromise package over recent weeks.
The full text of the letter can be found below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi,
The House schedule has one week of legislative session left before the election. While we have all expressed our willingness to remain in Washington in order to push for an agreement, we write to you now to implore you to bring a revised and streamlined COVID-19 relief package to the floor next week. Americans are counting on us; they cannot wait any longer.
The pandemic has raged for six months with no signs of slowing down. Over 200,000 Americans have perished, leaving millions of grieving family members behind. Over 20 million Americans are on unemployment, with countless more who are barely making ends meet. We have no official estimate of how many Americans cannot pay their rent, how many parents are skipping meals so their children can eat, and countless other measures of wellness and safety. At this rate, we should expect that COVID-19 will remain a serious threat through Thanksgiving, the New Year, and into next spring.
Equally pressing, our businesses are still struggling and our economy teeters on the edge of recession into depression. Should COVID-19 worsen during the fall and winter months, as many experts warn it could, it would likely send our nation into economic freefall. The returns of a onetime stimulus check of $1,200 are all but completely diminished – doing little at this point to stimulate the economy or ensure Americans can pay their bills.
We know that the House of Representatives has led in offering solutions for months now. The only time the Senate offered a deal, it failed to even pass their own chamber, and continues to move farther away from a package that meets us halfway. We are aware that the White House has not offered serious negotiation terms and has effectively stopped offering any ideas for a solution. We are also aware that House Democrats have made clear, factual asks for tangible COVID relief to immediately help the American people and have been met with nothing but wishful thinking by the Senate and White House.
Knowing these conditions of our current stalemate, we are asking you to bring up a bill that demonstrates our commitment to meeting them in the middle, as we have expressed our willingness to do, and advance it through the House with the haste this crisis demands.
Americans are suffering. Every aspect of our lives and society has been impacted by this pandemic. The damage done by the pandemic will take years to fully recover from and we are still learning about the long-term health impacts from COVID-19. There is no question that Congress will have to provide economic relief, personal assistance, health care access, and so much more – long after the 116th Congress ends.
The political stalemate has gone too long. We demand a vote on a clean relief package that has direct assistance for those in need. Regardless if the White House or Senate agree, we must show the American people that the House of Representatives is open to negotiations and clear in our resolve to deliver aid for millions in need.