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@MyKitchenTable: September 15, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Dear Friend:

Today’s inspiration from Thomas Edison: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

And that’s what our bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is doing right now. There’s certainly been a lot of talk around Washington D.C. about why another COVID relief package probably won’t happen. That’s not a good enough answer. We need to make it happen because too many folks are still struggling. Even just this morning, I heard from a constituent who has had some challenging months and needs help. Congress has to come together on a bipartisan plan that delivers immediate help to those most in need. The PSC plan does just that, providing additional resources for unemployment, additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program that has been a lifeline for our small businesses, more money for schools, and another round of stimulus checks.  The framework is designed for a six month horizon and through the next inauguration, except for state and local funding which extends for a full year. Depending on the severity of the pandemic and if a successful vaccination program is adopted by March 2021, a system of automatic “boosters” are designed to incrementally increase the amount of relief to individuals and families. Conversely, a system of “reducers” will decrease the total cost of the package.Image

This is a common sense plan! The White House and the leadership from both parties have been kept updated every step of the way. Everyone is starting to come to their senses – folks need help, and this plan helps them. I hope we can see this advance. You can read a good summary of our plan in the Hill HERE and watch our press conference from earlier HERE.

Looking further down the road at long term solutions, I joined my Republican colleagues in introducing our “Commitment to America,” focusing on restoring our way of life, rebuilding the greatest economy in history, and renewing the American dream.  Those need to be our priorities as we work to end the coronavirus, bring back our jobs, and build safer communities for ALL Americans. You can learn more HERE.

A few more items from last time I emailed you. On Saturday, we announced a federal grant for the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. The $377,500 grant will be used to further allergy, immunology, and transplantation research at the school. This is yet another feather in the cap of the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and once again recognizes the extraordinary work their staff and students continue to do.

We also announced more than $1 million in federal grant funding to assist households across Southwest Michigan that face a greater risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Benton Harbor received $77,918; Holland received $198,586; Kalamazoo received $482,782; Niles received $68,824; and Portage received $237,041. 

Lastly, Pfizer’s CEO over the weekend announced that they should have key data from its late-stage trial from the FDA by the end of October and that it could be distributed to Americans before the end of the year if it is safe and effective. You can read more HERE in CNBC. Pfizer also announced with Biontech that they have submitted an amended protocol to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the enrollment of their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to up to approximately 44,000 participants which also allows for the enrollment of new populations, which you can read about HERE.

I close this letter with an aching heart as more details are released with sickening video of the two deputies ambushed in LA.  The suspect still remains at large and we all hope for quick capture and swift justice. I reflect back on the Dr. King quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

All the best,

Fred Upton

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