September 18, 2020
Congress passed the last COVID-19 relief bill 174 days ago. Hundreds of thousands of Americans – schools, families, and small businesses – are still struggling from this virus. Both the House and the Senate have proposed vastly different proposals to help these hurting Americans. The House passed a bill with a $3T price tag – that’s too much spending so I voted no. The Senate has offered several packages with a lower price tag, but Senate Democrats have offered no support. We need to find common ground.
Because of that, a few weeks ago the White House reached out to a few U.S. House members, asking that they develop a bipartisan proposal that could break the stalemate. I was honored to be one of the four members leading that project.
Our group, two Republicans and two Democrats, put aside brinksmanship and political games. Once we focused on what was good for the country, it didn’t take us long to find common ground. This is how Congress is supposed to work.
Our proposal, the “March to Common Ground,” made a lot of headway this week. The Trump Administration said the framework is something they can work from to get to a deal, it was endorsed by the Washington Post and the New York Times, and several Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle have agreed – this proposal is a good compromise.
The framework addresses key areas of need, including testing, direct stimulus payments to families, small business support, liability protection, food security, election support, state and local aid, and school funding.
The March to Common Ground spends less than half what the Speaker wants to spend, but it’s still a lot of money. I am very consciously concerned about our nation’s debt. Our country’s top economists all agree our country needs an additional stimulus package to dig our way out of this COVID-19 economic slump.
Like many Americans, I’ve been frustrated with the lack of progress we are seeing from Congress. The leaders of both chambers have been at this for a long time – I know they can get something done for the American people.
I’m proud of the work a few new, but bipartisan, members of Congress were able to get done over the last several weeks. This proposal is gaining traction and bringing people back to the table.