Katko: Leaving Washington Without Bolstering Resources for Hospitals, Supporting Families & Businesses Would be an Abdication of Duty

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) today called on leaders in the House and Senate to postpone the upcoming district work period and keep lawmakers in Washington to pass a bipartisan, bicameral coronavirus package that bolsters resources for our nation’s healthcare system and provides flexible support for families and businesses:

“As legislators, we have a duty to remain in Washington to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“State and local governments face already strained and limited resources.  Hospitals and community health centers in Central New York and nationwide are taking proactive steps to test and treat patients, but are struggling already to meet demands for tests, beds, and supplies.  We simply must do more to preserve the public health of our communities. Local care providers must be adequately resourced with medical supplies, including COVID-19 tests, key testing components, and protective equipment for healthcare professionals.

“Along with addressing the immediate public health concerns, we must provide flexible support to our youth, working families, and businesses who face serious secondary impacts. With a significant number of long-term school closures likely to be announced in the coming months, Congress must provide food security for the millions of children who depend on school breakfasts and lunches. In addition, COVID-19 poses acute risks to small and medium-sized businesses, with the disease likely to have a substantial impact on employees and customers. To address this today, I introduced the Emergency Paid Leave Act of 2020— bipartisan legislation that will provide emergency sick leave for Americans who are forced to self-quarantine or care for loved ones that have been infected by COVID-19. Lawmakers should immediately provide consideration to this bipartisan measure to support the Americans who will face this health threat and the resulting financial struggles.

“While we took an important step last week by approving supplementation appropriations of $8.3 billion to support our nation’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with COVID-19 now declared a global pandemic, Congress must act immediately to pass a bipartisan and bicameral package to bolster our nation’s response.   

“Now is not the time for politics. To leave Washington without addressing these critical needs would be an abdication of duty. House and Senate leadership must delay recess until we develop and implement a comprehensive plan that combats the pandemic and protects the safety, health, and well-being of the American people.