Representative Abigail Spanberger released a statement as leadership negotiations stalled Friday on a new COVID-19 relief package.
Spanberger wants both Republican and Democratic leaders to bring the same sense of urgency to current negotiations.
The statement below:
In March, the House and Senate negotiated and passed the CARES Act. This bipartisan bill delivered immediate relief to working families struggling to put food on the table, anxious businesses fighting to stay afloat, and healthcare professionals working around the clock to save the lives of their neighbors. For many in Central Virginia, this legislation helped them avoid financial ruin. And while the CARES Act was by no means a perfect solution to the challenges ahead, it recognized that the spiraling effects of a global pandemic and economic crisis required levels of urgency and cooperation that are all too rare in our divided political system.
Leadership in both parties must bring that same sense of urgency to current negotiations, particularly as we see spikes in COVID-19 cases in parts of Virginia and across the country. And with unemployment benefits set to expire for thousands in Central Virginia, Congress cannot sit idly as families teeter on the brink of financial ruin and face another potential housing crisis. My office continues to receive hundreds of phone calls and requests for assistance related to unemployment concerns. The livelihoods of families are on the line.
Like many Democrats and Republicans alike, I have deep reservations about the package floated by Senate Republicans, which does not include a single penny of assistance for states and local governments. In a conversation with Central Virginia county officials on Wednesday, I heard how supervisors and administrators are working hard around the clock to keep the lights on, maintain critical EMS services, and provide personal protective equipment to frontline workers. They need and deserve our support during this crisis.
Negotiations must continue. And as they do, I will keep fighting to include strong support for states and localities, as well as for Central Virginia’s telehealth programs, schools, and healthcare providers.
Spanberger is a Democrat representing Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District.