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@MyKitchenTable - September 17, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Thursday, September 17, 2020

Dear Friend:

Today’s inspiration: “It takes both sides to build a bridge."

And that’s what we’re hanging our hats on as the Problem Solvers Caucus and I try to work with Republicans and Democrats to garner enough support to pass our COVID relief package through the House and Senate so it can be signed by the President. We made some progress this week. We had a zoom call earlier with some of our Senate colleagues, and a number of them expressed support for what we were trying to do. The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote a good review of our framework and said it could serve as a starting point for all sides, which you can read HERE. The White House’s chief of staff said, “It’s certainly worth discussion and worth consideration and if that’s something that the speaker is willing to kind of quasi-embrace, I think it provides a real opening for further discussions."

Look, we have divided government, but folks are struggling and they certainly still need help. I think we need to get something done. We’ll keep working tomorrow and through the weekend to try and get more folks to support our framework, which you can see HERE. In essence, it includes more funds for families, small businesses, first responders, states and local governments, and schools, and there is a system of automatic “boosters” that are designed to incrementally increase the amount of relief to individuals and families if things get worst. Conversely, a system of “reducers” will decrease the total cost of the package if things improve. Stay tuned. Hopefully we’ll have good news on this front next week.

Today in the House, we voted for a bill that I cosponsored – the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – to protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination. This bipartisan bill addresses legal ambiguities and helps ensure pregnant women are treated fairly on the job. The legislation, which is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), would require employers to make reasonable accommodations — such as a minor job modification — that would allow pregnant workers to continue working and prevent them from being forced out on leave or out of their jobs. It passed 329-73. You can read more about the bill HERE.

A few more notes:

  • Pfizer had a front page story in USA Today on their vaccine candidate. Pfizer said its candidate vaccine looks safe, and the company expects to have data next month on how well it protects people against the coronavirus, which you can read more about HERE.
  • Children are more likely to have milder COVID-19 symptoms as compared to adults, but complications – including multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) and respiratory failure – do occur in the pediatric population. You can see the report from the CDC HERE.
  • NIH announced a $12 million award for outreach and engagement efforts in ethnic and racial minority communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which you can read more about HERE.
  • Many people who are not required to file tax returns may still be eligible for Economic Impact Payments. They need to register with the IRS for a payment  by Oct 15, which they can do HERE.

ImageToday’s photo of the day is from Stevensville, where two constituents got very creative with their masks. TY for sharing!

All the best,

Fred Upton

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