Don Beyer comments on COVID-19 stimulus vote
“The only way we will get the economy going again is by first containing the spread of the coronavirus. This bipartisan bill will help us do that by providing public health and economic resources to cities, states and hospitals, as well as those who are doing what experts are saying we all must – staying home to flatten the curve.
“Workers who lose their jobs will have 100% of their wages replaced, including those who are self-employed or contractors and were—until now—previously ineligible for unemployment insurance. These same workers will also receive direct cash payments from the federal government, a progressive policy that I was among the first to push for. There’s also substantial support for small businesses that lose customers or are under state or local directives to close temporarily.
“In addition, the Marshall Plan for hospitals will enable them to care for the rapidly rising number of coronavirus patients and buy the much needed medical supplies they’re running out of. In no country should healthcare workers have to make their own masks but that’s what’s happening right now at hospitals across America. I urge the President to help hospitals out soon by using the powers he has under the Defense Production Act.
“As Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, I’ll continue to closely monitor how the economy is doing over the coming weeks. The American people will need sustained help from their government to weather this crisis, and Congress must take every action necessary to protect their health and prevent another Great Depression.”
Beyer was among the first in government to call for direct payments to support families. He helped shape negotiations on the stimulus package as Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Read the JEC-Democrats’ recent brief, “Thursday’s Initial Unemployment Claims Will Be Key”—for additional context. See also Vice Chair Beyer’s recent op-ed, “We Need a Massive Economic Response to Counter the Threat of the Coronavirus.”