Weekly Democratic Address
May 16, 2020
Hi, everyone, I’m Deb Haaland, Representative for New Mexico’s First Congressional District and proud member of the Pueblo of Laguna.
I’m honored to be one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress in our country’s history. I’m like so many Americans. I’m a single mom and a proud daughter of veterans. My dad served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years and my mother in the Navy.
I understand the struggles that many people face, and I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to help our families to find success.
House Democrats will act boldly to pass The Heroes Act, a bill that meets the challenge our country is now facing and at the level it demands.
Families in New Mexico are sharing with me their concerns, fears and struggles, and like many Americans, they are afraid of losing their homes and businesses, struggling to buy food and to afford life-saving medication.
I know what it’s like to care for child on a limited income and to worry for an elderly parent who is in a senior living community.
The Trump Administration’s failed response to this coronavirus emergency has caused heartbreak and economic stress for families across our country and have laid bare the disparities that already exist in so many communities.
In particular, Indian Country has been hit very hard by this pandemic. Imagine getting sick and having to drive three hours just to see a doctor or to get to a phone. Imagine not having running water or electricity or public transportation.
Sadly, two sisters on the Navajo Nation didn’t get the coronavirus treatment they needed in time, and they died. Their young sons will live without their mothers.
Heroes come in all forms. They’re hospital workers, grocery clerks, teachers, letter carriers and people who stay home to take care of their elders and protect their communities.
The Heroes Act provides economic stability, so we can begin the long road to economic recovery: $1,200 direct payments; hazard pay for essential workers; investments in broadband to help close the homework gap for kids; small business loans and grants that will reach underserved communities; and funds for testing, tracing and treatment of this virus.
We know state and local governments are stretched thin. That’s why we worked hard to include flexible funding so firefighters can stay on the job, police officers won’t get furloughed and the services that cities provide will remain intact.
As this pandemic impacts our democracy, we’re helping states make mail-in voting available to all voters, keeping the Postal Service open so every voter has access to the ballot box, boosting funding for the Census and delaying the Census deadline.
A dad in my district called me when his son who serves in the military got stuck paying two sets of bills when the Defense Department halted personnel movements. The Heroes Act includes provisions that I fought for to help military families with the financial burdens caused by this pandemic.
The Heroes Act will also help address many of the disparities in Indian Country by providing $20 billion for Tribal governments, addressing Tribal business concerns on the Paycheck Protection Program loans and boosting funds for many Indian Health Service programs, including Urban Indian Health Centers.
When I vote for The Heroes Act, I will vote for all of our families and all our essential workers.
House Democrats will continue fighting for all families, workers and small businesses throughout this uncertain time, and we call on the United States Senate to do the same and to pass The Heroes Act. Thank you for your support of The Heroes Act.