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Upton, Problem Solvers Caucus encourage Trump, Congressional leaders to continue COVID-19 relief negotiations

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Washington, October 20, 2020 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761) | comments

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) and his Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) colleagues sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders encouraging them to continue negotiating on a COVID-19 relief package that includes immediate assistance to support families, small businesses, and schools as well as a resolution for a national testing strategy.

“We are only 14 days away from the election, after which the prospect of moving stimulus legislation forward is very dim until early February,” Upton and his PSC colleagues wrote. “Every day that passes is another missed opportunity to deliver relief for American families and businesses who will continue to suffer needlessly as a result of Congress failing to do its job.”

Their letter includes three recommendations to help reach a bipartisan deal that could pass the House, Senate, and be signed by the President:

  1. The Administration should follow through on its public comments and formally resolve the issue of including a national testing strategy.
  2. The Senate should schedule a vote on a broader compromise proposal once produced that meets the urgent needs of the American people. 
  3. Remaining disagreements about the negotiators are solvable, and PSC stands ready to help resolve final issues.

Upton and the PSC have been repeatedly calling for Congressional leaders to reach and agreement to help those who are in the most need. On September 15, Upton joined PSC to unveil their “March To Common Ground” framework to help break the gridlock on the latest COVID-19 relief package and encourage negotiators to get back to the table. That framework can be seen here.

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group made up of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats in the House. Upton is a vice-chair of PSC.

Their full letter can be seen here or below.

Dear President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:

As this public health and economic crisis continues to disrupt our nation, it is critical Congress act immediately to pass bipartisan relief legislation that can be signed into law. The fact is time is running out for the American people.

We are only 14 days away from the election, after which the prospect of moving stimulus legislation forward is very dim until early February. Every day that passes is another missed opportunity to deliver relief for American families and businesses who will continue to suffer needlessly as a result of Congress failing to do its job.

We believe the following steps must be taken to push a bipartisan relief deal across the finish line:

First, we urge the Administration to follow through on its public comments and formally resolve the issue of including a national testing strategy in a broader stimulus package as submitted by Speaker Pelosi.

Second, while we appreciate Majority Leader McConnell's decision to schedule a vote on a "skinny" $500 billion COVID-19 relief package, it does not go nearly far enough. More must be done. Given the broad, bipartisan support in Congress, and in the Administration, for a compromise proposal, we respectfully request the Senate also schedule a vote on a broader compromise proposal once produced that meets the urgent needs of the American people. While the package may not be perfect, it is clear the compromise proposal will be comprehensive and will contain key provisions that address the greatest areas of need for the American people.

Third, we know there may be remaining issues to be resolved between the negotiators, but it appears those issues are certainly solvable. We stand ready to help, if there is anything we can do to help close the gaps. We know if there is a will, there is a way to find common ground.

The bottom line: our families, businesses, and local communities don't have the luxury of time so Washington can continue its partisan games. We must do our job and do it now. We stand ready to work with all of you, and are prepared to take any action to ensure we pass a bipartisan relief deal as soon as possible.

Thank you for staying at the table.

Sincerely,

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