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Connolly Statement on the CARES Act

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, released the following statement in support of the CARES Act.

“Americans are scared. We are in the midst of the worst public health pandemic in more than 100 years. Across our country, nearly 86,000 Americans have now been touched by coronavirus, and more than one thousand lives have been lost.

Loved ones are making the difficult and heartbreaking choice to be absent from grandparents and elderly mothers and fathers, so that they don’t get exposed to this deadly virus. Our hospitals and medical first responders are doing heroic work, but worry they can’t meet the demands that may walk through the door tomorrow. Schools have been shuttered, while moms and dads are forced to figure out how to continue on and bring some normalcy to this new way of life. Businesses and restaurants are struggling, and many have been forced to close or lay-off workers. Just yesterday, we got our first glimpse into the devastating unemployment outlook – 3.3 million Americans applied for assistance last week.

We have all heard these stories of this painful new reality.

Our communities are reeling. They are seeking leadership, guidance, truth, empathy, assistance and most of all, hope for a better tomorrow. Congress needs to be all of those things for our constituents - and this package is another important step.

Nothing in life is ever perfect and this bill is no exception. But we cannot make perfect be the enemy of the good. There’s much I would like added to this legislation, there are offensive provisions I’d like removed. But the balance of aid to a hurting nation demands we act and act now.

We are providing unprecedented unemployment insurance and a lifeline during this trying time to those who have lost their job. This package provides billions of dollars to hospitals and first responders so that they have the personal protective gear, ventilators, and the medical supplies they need to meet this crisis. Nearly every family will receive a direct payment to help cover rent, or groceries, or just make ends meet. Small businesses will have resources so that they can hopefully remain open and keep their employees on payroll. States and localities will see an infusion of federal investment to cover the challenges they face in providing for our neighbors.

But our work is not done.

The Postal Service, which every American relies on for prescription drugs, care packages, and critical services, is in crisis and must be addressed. States and local communities who are the frontlines will require more assistance. We must continue to meet those needs.

This bill is Congress’ reaffirmation of the unstinting strength of the American people, a clarion statement in our faith in the future, a clear and forceful renewal in our unshakeable belief that our country will rise from the present travail, tested, resilient and renewed.”

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