Weekly Democratic Address
April 3, 2020
I’m Nita Lowey, a United States Congresswoman from New York, an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones and to people fighting this illness today. I offer my deepest appreciation to those courageous medical professionals who risk their own lives and health to save others. And we owe a debt of gratitude to those in essential service industry jobs who are also risking exposure to ensure Americans have food and other essential items during this time of crisis.
While I comply with guidance to remain home, I am still working tirelessly with my colleagues in Congress to protect people from the vicious, vicious pandemic and to mitigate the impact on Americans’ financial security.
As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I helped shepherd three coronavirus response bills through Congress. Our first bill provided a vital infusion of funding to procure protective equipment for health care workers and bolster the public health system. It also jump-started the development of vaccines that will one day stop this scourge.
Just days later, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act made coronavirus testing free, expanded paid leave to American workers and strengthened food initiatives for seniors and the vulnerable.
And last week, the bipartisan CARES Act was enacted. House Democrats insisted that this bill expand Unemployment Insurance benefits to replace lost paychecks, provide direct payments to families and to offer massive relief to small businesses and non-profits.
While these efforts have made funds available to address the health crisis and help cushion the economic blow, they are not enough.
The Administration must step up immediately to ensure that adequate medical supplies, like protective equipment and ventilators, are available when and where they are needed most.
And with nearly 10 million Americans having lost jobs in the past two weeks, we must do more to help families who cannot afford their mortgage or rent or food and medicine to stay strong and healthy.
Right now, House Democrats are writing legislation to further support workers and foster a strong recovery. We must help states and cities on the front lines of the crisis to provide essential services, including education, even as tax revenue dries up. And we can build a more resilient economy with robust investments in smart, safe infrastructure, including bringing clean water and the promise of high-speed broadband to every American community.
In the hard days ahead, we will keep coming together. We will look out for our loved ones and neighbors, and, together, we will get through this crisis.
And House Democrats will lead the way by putting Workers and Families First.
Thank you and stay safe.