October 2, 2020 Dear Friend,Our thoughts are with President Trump and the First Lady as we are all hoping they will make a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19. They join the more than 7 million who have been infected with coronavirus in the United States. Tragically, over 208,000 Americans have now died as a result of this virus. Our thoughts are with their families and with the millions of COVID-19 survivors who are still recovering. It’s crucial that we continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of this virus, including wearing masks while in public, washing our hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing.
October 2, 2020
Our thoughts are with President Trump and the First Lady as we are all hoping they will make a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19. They join the more than 7 million who have been infected with coronavirus in the United States. Tragically, over 208,000 Americans have now died as a result of this virus. Our thoughts are with their families and with the millions of COVID-19 survivors who are still recovering. It’s crucial that we continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of this virus, including wearing masks while in public, washing our hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing.
Securing Additional Support for Granite Staters During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Last night, the House of Representatives advanced additional legislation in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, passing an updated version of the HEROES Act, which first passed the House in May. This new legislation will deliver another round of direct economic impact payments to individuals and families, support small businesses, provide funding to schools and hospitals, restore unemployment benefits, and boost funding for the development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Importantly, this bill would direct over $800 million to New Hampshire towns and counties that have been on the frontlines of this pandemic and creates a streamlined forgiveness system for businesses using the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which will cut red tape and make it easier for business owners to have their loans forgiven. Of the 24,000 PPP loans to small businesses in New Hampshire, nearly 22,000 were under $150,000 and will be eligible for streamlined forgiveness under the House-passed HEROES Act. I urge the Senate and White House to provide much-needed relief to NH small businesses and our state and local governments.
The legislation also includes the Save Our Stages Act, a bipartisan bill I co-sponsored that would provide six months of financial support to keep independent live music venues afloat during the pandemic. As a passionate supporter of the arts and someone who loves live music, I feel strongly about the need to help our independent live music venues during this difficult time. In addition to providing general enjoyment to the public, these venues also play a meaningful role in the economic wellbeing of communities in New Hampshire and across the country. I’m proud to join my colleagues in support of this much-needed legislation and appreciate its inclusion in the updated HEROES Act, which represents House Democrats’ continued work to provide relief and support to the American people.
Developing a Safe, Effective COVID-19 Vaccine
During our Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing. Watch here.
On Wednesday, I took part in a virtual Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, where I questioned public health experts on plans for a COVID-19 vaccine. Developing a safe, effective vaccine is vital to putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, but a vaccine will only be half the battle. Once we have an approved vaccine, we will still face the formidable challenge of distributing hundreds of millions of doses around the country, as well as reassuring Americans that they can trust the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. This will be an unprecedented effort, and we must rely on science - not politics - throughout this process.
Addressing Human Trafficking in the U.S.
Our virtual roundtable on addressing human trafficking. Watch here.
Yesterday, the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence held a virtual roundtable discussion on addressing human trafficking in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the serious problem of human trafficking, which already was not getting the attention it deserved before this health crisis began. In addition to the serious health consequences, the pandemic has also led to significant increases in unemployment, causing more people to be vulnerable to trafficking. Yesterday’s discussion reinforced that law enforcement alone is not the answer to this problem. As Polaris’s Catherine Chen said, ‘We cannot arrest our way out.’ If we want to make a substantial impact and eliminate human trafficking, we must tackle the systemic issues that make people vulnerable to trafficking in the first place, such as housing insecurity. While Congress has taken action to provide assistance to those who are struggling, we need to do more.
Eliminating Sexual Violence and Harassment in Athletics
The House passed the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act yesterday, which I helped introduce. Our young athletes are some of the very best our country has to offer, and coming from a family deeply involved in winter Olympic sports, their safety is very personal to me. These athletes and their families put their complete trust in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and its personnel, and tragically that trust has sometimes been violated. With passage of this legislation, Congress is making clear that abuse of athletes will not be tolerated nor swept under the rug. I’m committed to working with the countless members of the Olympic community who have dedicated themselves to keeping our athletes safe as we look ahead to the games in 2021. As these young people represent our nation in competition around the globe, we owe it to them to have their backs and protect them from violence and harassment.
Supporting Granite Staters & Local Businesses
This week, I joined the NH delegation in announcing that the Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded $628,472 to the New Hampshire Department of Justice to strengthen and expand mental health and family support services in detention and correctional facilities to incarcerated parents with children younger than the age of 18. Preparing inmates for reentry into society and reducing recidivism is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. By investing in the health and wellbeing of incarcerated individuals and their families, we are helping put these families on the path to success, which benefits Granite State communities and our economy.
I also joined the delegation to announce the award of $557,000 in federal funding to the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to support small businesses and promote economic growth in Granite State communities. Small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many uncertain how much longer they will be able to keep their doors open. This funding will provide Granite State businesses with much-needed financial support and help boost local economies in our state. I’m pleased by this development and I will continue working to ensure New Hampshire businesses have the resources they need to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Taking Action to Condemn and Stop Unwanted, Unnecessary Surgeries on Migrant Women
Speaking on the House floor in support of our resolution. Watch here.
Today, the House passed a resolution that I co-led, condemning unwanted, unnecessary gynecological procedures on migrant women at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. Reports of unwanted medical procedures being performed on migrant women are heartbreaking and horrifying, and I’m glad we have passed this resolution condemning this appalling treatment. Everyone has the right to make informed decisions about their own bodies, and ICE’s failure to protect the women in its care is unacceptable. Women have the right to make their own reproductive choices – women can choose when and if they get pregnant. Some of these women were planning to have children, but they no longer have that choice after they say they received hysterectomies and other gynecological surgeries without their consent while in ICE custody. Immediate action must be taken to hold accountable those responsible for performing these procedures and ensure women who have been subjected to this treatment are given the support they need.
Joining WMUR's CloseUp on Sunday
Tune into WMUR on Sunday at 10 AM for my conversation with Adam Sexton on CloseUp. We’ll discuss my recent work in Congress and the COVID-19 relief bill we passed this week.
News You Can Use
With the beautiful foliage and fall weather, many Granite Staters and travelers are hitting NH’s hiking trails. NH Fish & Game officials are urging caution following recent tragic incidents. For safety tips and information, click here.
COVID-19 testing is available at many locations throughout the Granite State - click here for a list of testing sites (and see map below).
It is important to remember that even if you feel fine and aren’t showing any symptoms, you still could have COVID-19 and infect others, so it is critical to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, keep a safe distance from others at public gatherings, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and avoid crowds. Click here for information about how to properly use cloth face coverings to stop the spread of coronavirus.
As fall begins and the weather gets colder, we are about to be in the midst of flu season. Public health officials and the CDC recommend that Americans 6 months and older get a flu vaccine, and it’s especially important this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on where to get a flu shot, click here.
As always, the CDC and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services are the best resources to turn to during the COVID-19 public health emergency. If you are sick, stay home and call your health care provider. If you live in NH and have questions about coronavirus, dial 211 or visit CDC.gov for more information.