Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley issued the following statement today on the urgent need for additional COVID-19 aid:
“Millions of Americans continue to face economic hardships as a result of the urgent and necessary measures states have had to take to curb spiraling COVID-19 infections, preserve hospital beds, and save lives. Many Oregon families already struggling with joblessness, food insecurity, and affording rent are double-impacted by recent statewide measures that have restricted social activities to slow the spread of the virus — and the state’s most vulnerable are particularly impacted, including Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities.
“Just as we enter what is proving to be the most trying period of the pandemic so far, federal dollars quite literally dry up. Federal aid provided earlier in the year when Oregon was under a Stay Home, Save Lives executive order provided a lifeline to Oregonians, and helped prevent the worst economic impacts of this pandemic. We urge the Senate Majority Leader to step up and work across the aisle to expeditiously pass another robust coronavirus relief bill, immediately; the American people cannot wait until a new session in January.
“COVID-19 support is needed for individuals, in the form of extensions to Unemployment Insurance and additional stimulus; for businesses, by extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); and for city, state, and tribal governments, by providing additional Coronavirus Relief Funds. And robust resources, such as increased testing and contact tracing, are critical to helping states and local public health departments crush this virus.
“As we enter what will likely be the darkest days of this pandemic, additional resources to states, local governments, and tribes will help prevent layoffs and unnecessary cuts to programs, and will enable states to continue important spending on protective equipment, testing, and other public health activities.
“During this time of unprecedented need and heartbreaking loss, our country should come together and provide as much support as possible. Oregonians are counting on our elected officials to rise to the challenge and help them weather this storm.”
A copy of the Governor’s recent letter calling on congressional action is available here