Brindisi Blasts Senate COVID Relief Proposal That Leaves New York State, Rural Counties & Towns, Out In The Cold

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From the office of Congressman Anthony Brindisi:

Congressman Stands Up For NY-22 Local Governments & Municipalities; Demands Leader McConnell Work With Both Parties To Find Reasonable, Bipartisan Solution

Brindisi: McConnell’s Proposal Is Inadequate; Let’s Put Politics Aside & Work Together To Provide For Our Region

Following the release of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s partisan COVID relief plan, the HEALS Act, Congressman Anthony Brindisi issued the following statement:

“This proposal by Leader McConnell and his cronies in Washington is completely inadequate. Local governments need help. Workers need help. Small businesses need help. Across our district, hard working men and women have made sacrifice after sacrifice and to see Washington politicians carving out funds for their pet projects, like more than one billion for a new FBI building, is unconscionable. Let’s put politics aside, work together, and pass a bipartisan bill that provides ample funding for testing, takes care of our workers and small businesses, and gets our state and local governments the funds they need to pay our frontline heroes and keep our essential services going.”

McConnell’s plan excludes any additional money for state and local governments. Reports across the district indicate that local governments and school districts are being forced to make cuts due to the ongoing pandemic.  In May, county and local governments across New York’s 22nd district joined Brindisi in a bipartisan call for additional aid to protect essential services in their communities. McConnell and the Senate GOP proposal ignored those calls. 

In May, Brindisi joined members of both parties to pass the bipartisan Heroes Act which would: 

  • Provide $75 billion for #COVID19 testing and contact tracing, and requires all health insurers (public & private) to cover 100% of COVID treatments. It also expands health care options for Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 
  • Create a $200 billion Heroes Fund to give hazard pay to all our essential workers who have risked their lives every single day of this crisis to keep us safe & healthy.
  • Provide another round of $1,200 payments to individuals and expand the first round of payments to include all dependents, including 17- and 18-year-olds, students under 24, and permanently disabled dependent children of any age.
  • Allocate nearly $1 trillion in desperately needed funding for state and local govts. Without this funding, NYS will be forced to make cuts to essential services like schools, police & fire depts, and hospitals. We can’t let that happen.
  • Prioritize our small businesses by expanding PPP loans, providing $10 billion in grants for local businesses, and close a loophole that will extend emergency paid sick leave to businesses with less than 500 employees.
  • Cut red tape so rural communities can access health care. Brindisi’s ARC Act was included to l ensure that hospitals in rural districts like #NY22 can afford to keep their doors open through this pandemic.
  • Expand aid for our country’s farmers and ranchers. Upstate dairy farmers are suffering right now, & the Heroes Act provides more than $16 billion in direct payments to ag producers to cover losses & compensate for milk-dumping. It would also help connect family farmers to food banks & prevent needless hunger across the country.
  • Protect our servicemembers and Veterans who are uniquely affected by this crisis. This legislation provides counseling for all servicemembers who deployed active duty service to fight #COVID19. It also ensures the VA covers COVID treatment for all our Veterans, even at non-VA facilities, and expands assistance for homeless Veterans.
  • Hold big cable companies accountable so they can’t raise their prices during this crisis. This legislation will lower cable bills by up to $50/month for households that are low-income or affected by furloughs or layoffs. It also prohibits cable companies from cutting off internet service to households and bans data caps and overage fees for the duration of the pandemic.
  • Provide more than $15 billion to expand affordable broadband access and get our rural communities online, because access to the internet is more vital than ever.
  • Allocate $25 billion to help the US Postal Service recover from the pandemic and continue to serve rural communities. 

“The Heroes Act is far from perfect, but it includes millions for our frontline heroes, our state and local governments, aid for our rural hospitals and small businesses, and puts more money in the pockets of Upstate New Yorkers during the pandemic,” Brindisi added. “We need to work together to find a solution that delivers much-needed aid and works for both parties.”

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