Business, government coalition demands COVID-19 relief before Election Day

Inscription coronavirus on a yellow police tape against the backdrop of the Capitol Building in Washington DC, USA. US coronavirus concept in government
COVID Relief Now wants a compromise before a campaign recess.

A national effort including Florida business and government advocates wanted COVID-19 relief passed before Election Day.

COVID Relief Now, a coalition of more than 200 organizations, called on Congress to remain in Session until the House and Senate agree on a legislative package.

“We are writing to implore you to reach a bipartisan deal on legislation to prevent catastrophic economic harm that would result if Congress does not pass additional emergency relief before adjourning for the election,” reads a letter from the group.

The coalition includes such Florida lobbying voices as the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Florida Retail Federation and the Florida West Coast chapter of Independent Electrical Contractors. They joined a number of national business groups like the National Small Business Association and National Restaurant Association.

The coalition also includes government associations including the National Conference for State Legislatures, National Council of State Legislators, National Association of Counties and National Governors Association.

The groups stressed the impact delaying relief could have on the economy.

“Support for furloughed or laid off employees, critical infrastructure, small businesses, educational institutions, first responders, and all state and local governments that are addressing the ongoing public health and economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are priorities we strongly believe require an immediate and unified response from our federal government,” the letter reads.

The message went out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. It came weeks after the Senate failed to pass a relief package with fewer benefits than those passed in the House.

Pelosi on Tuesday unveiled a scaled down package, costing $2.2 trillion. That includes $25 billion for passenger airlines and $3 billion for airline contractors, as well as $120 billion for restaurants, The Hill reports. Pelosi has been in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The bill could come up for a vote as soon as Wednesday.

Leaders with the COVID Relief Now coalition said negotiations between Democratic and Republican leadership must continue. With cries of ‘No Recess without Relief,’ the group said there’s urgency as businesses continue to report layoffs.

“Counties are on the front lines of the nation’s pandemic response,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “We provide many essential services, especially for our most vulnerable residents, and support small businesses that are so important to our communities and our economy. The public and private sectors are aligned on this – we need COVID relief and we need it now. Together, we call on members of both parties to come together on a bipartisan relief package.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 30, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Will you shut up, man? Vote Blue ! Vote Democrat up and down ballot !

Comments are closed.


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