Letter to the Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives - Pappas Calls on Speaker Pelosi To Introduce and Pass COVID-19 Relief Bill
Dear Speaker Pelosi,
The House schedule has one week of legislative session left before the election. While we have all expressed our willingness to remain in Washington in order to push for an agreement, we write to you now to implore you to bring a revised and streamlined COVID-19 relief package to the floor next week. Americans are counting on us; they cannot wait any longer.
The pandemic has raged for six months with no signs of slowing down. Over 200,000 Americans have perished, leaving millions of grieving family members behind. Over 20 million Americans are on unemployment, with countless more who are barely making ends meet. We have no official estimate of how many Americans cannot pay their rent, how many parents are skipping meals so their children can eat, and countless other measures of wellness and safety. At this rate, we should expect that COVID-19 will remain a serious threat through Thanksgiving, the New Year, and into next spring.
Equally pressing, our businesses are still struggling and our economy teeters on the edge of recession into a depression. Should COVID-19 worsen during the fall and winter months, as many experts warn it could, it would likely send our nation into economic freefall. The returns of a onetime stimulus check of $1,200 are all but completely diminished -- doing little at this point to stimulate the economy or ensure Americans can pay their bills.
We know that the House of Representatives has led in offering solutions for months now. The only time the Senate offered a deal, it failed to even pass their own chamber, and continues to move farther away from a package that meets us halfway. We are aware that the White House has not offered serious negotiation terms and has effectively stopped offering any ideas for a solution. We are also aware that House Democrats have made clear, factual asks for tangible COVID relief to immediately help the American people and have been met with nothing but wishful thinking by the Senate and White House.
Knowing these conditions of our current stalemate, we are asking you to bring up a bill that demonstrates our commitment to meeting them in the middle, as we have expressed our willingness to do, and advance it through the House with the haste this crisis demands.
Americans are suffering. Every aspect of our lives and society has been impacted by this pandemic. The damage done by the pandemic will take years to fully recover from and we are still learning about the long-term health impacts from COVID-19. There is no question that Congress will have to provide economic relief, personal assistance, health care access, and so much more -- long after the 116th Congress ends.
The political stalemate has gone too long. We demand a vote on a clean relief package that has direct assistance for those in need. Regardless if the White House or Senate agree, we must show the American people that the House of Representatives is open to negotiations and clear in our resolve to deliver aid for millions in need.