Says it is “Legislative Malpractice” for Congress not to act during this crisis
(Erie County, N.Y.) – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is calling for Congress to remain in Washington, D.C. until a new COVID-19 relief bill is passed. This comes as the Democratic Leadership in the House released an amended legislative schedule with fewer voting days prior to the holidays.
“The idea that Congress should go home for the holidays and wait until the new year when a new Presidential Administration takes office is reprehensible,” Jacobs said. “I have spoken with restaurants, small businesses, families, and local elected officials – I can say with full authority there isn’t time left.”
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new COVID-19 restrictions and business shutdowns throughout Western New York. Similar restrictions have been put in place in numerous other states, and national weekly jobless claims have risen the past two weeks for the first time since July. “Many small businesses in my district are facing bankruptcy, and they are unsure if they can keep employees or survive a second shutdown without further assistance,” Jacobs said. “My colleagues and I have been trying to free $138 billion in already appropriated Paycheck Protection Program funds for months; however, the Speaker and the Democratic Caucus have refused to work with us. This is aid we can deliver right now.”
“Additionally, local governments are struggling due to revenue losses and COVID-19 expenses. I have co-sponsored the SMART Act to deliver billions in additional funding to these governments – without it, they will have to lay off staff and cut critical public safety, EMS, and educational services our constituents rely on,” Jacobs said.
The SMART Act (H.R. 6954) is bipartisan legislation that would provide $500 billion in aid for state and local governments. One-third of this aid, roughly $161 billion, would be sent directly to local governments.
“We need to get a deal done and there are bipartisan solutions we can pass right now. With cases spiking, employees being laid off, schools closing, and small businesses facing uncertain futures, we have no time for the political games the Speaker has been playing with this aid,” Jacobs said. “The American people elected me, and my colleagues, to work for them, and they need us to act now. We should not be leaving for the holidays until bipartisan, targeted relief is passed and signed.”