Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Pleads for Access to More Testing for the Community, for Active Utilization of the Defense Production Act and for a Stimulus Package that Continues to put Families First

May 19, 2020
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               

March 23, 2020 

Contact: Remmington Belford

202-225-3816

 

Press Statement

 

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Pleads for Access to More Testing for the Community, for Active Utilization of the Defense Production Act and for a Stimulus Package that Continues to put Families First

“As a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security which is responsible for the domestic health security of our nation and the Budget Committee, it is important that we continue to put Families First in our efforts to stimulate the economy.  We must ensure that our family-owned and small businesses are covered and made whole in any stimulus package passed by Congress. I cannot accept the Senate Republicans’ bill, as presented. This bill puts corporate interest ahead of families and the well-being of hard-working Americans. How can Senate Republicans produce a bill of trillions of dollars and completely disregard the need of working Americans? This form of a stimulus package absolutely cannot pass. I will not support it.”

HOUSTON, TX – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee released the following statement regarding the current status of the Coronavirus stimulus package calling for Senate Republicans to put families and workers first, not corporations.

“My concern and prayers are with every Member of Congress who has tested negative or is quarantined due to potential exposure to the Coronavirus.  This is yet another wakeup call that this virus does not discriminate, and we must be patient and vigilant as Americans.  But we must also do what is necessary to keep Americans whole during this time of uncertainty and pass a strong stimulus package that protects families and make our small businesses whole.”

 

Senate Democrats blocked a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill for the second day in a row to block efforts by Senate Republicans to include a $500 billion “Exchange Stabilization Fund” to assist industries hit by the coronavirus and would mostly prevent companies that accept the money from buying back their own stock, but allows the Treasury Secretary to waive the buy-back restriction.

 

“The stimulus package is meant to help families and businesses, but not to protect big corporate stock options by allowing the Treasury Secretary to waive the buy back restriction after industries receive taxpayer dollars as a bail out. That loophole must be removed from any stimulus package,” stated Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

 

The legislation aims to flood the economy with money, from individuals to small businesses to large industries amid a wave of layoffs and a sharp contraction in consumer spending.

 

“The Senate Republicans’ bill, which is not a bipartisan bill as presented, put corporations first, not the working men and women of this country.  Their proposed cash payment to adults and children is too low and we must have assurances that if a corporation takes taxpayer dollars, they must protect their workers’ wages and benefits – not CEO pay, stock buybacks or layoffs.”

 

Today, House Democrats will unveil a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages, and well-being of America’s workers: The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act. I will be voting yes for this bill because the American people need and deserve a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe from the coronavirus epidemic.

Democrats Take Responsibility

 

For our workers and small businesses: our bill requires that any corporation that takes taxpayer dollars must protect their workers’ wages and benefits – not CEO pay, stock buybacks or layoffs.  It gives our small businesses fast relief with grants and loans to tide them through this crisis.  And it strengthens Unemployment Insurance so that it can replace the average wages of our workers who are losing their jobs and hours.

 

For our doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders: It gives hospitals and other health institutions the desperately needed funds to provide treatment and care to all those who are sick and to ensure they have the Personal Protective Equipment to protect health care workers and first responders.  It protects our health care workers by requiring the Administration to enforce our stronger Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections.  At the same time, it calls for the president to invoke the Defense Production Act immediately.

 

“For our families: It gives direct payments to America’s families in a robust way and strengthens Child Tax Credits and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  It gives more workers the security of guaranteed paid family and medical leave, including those caring for our seniors.  And it makes coronavirus treatment free for the patient.

 

“For our students: Pumps nearly $40 billion into schools and universities, with $30 billion directly provided to states to help them stabilize their funding for schools and nearly $10 billion to help alleviate the harm caused by coronavirus on higher education institutions while providing them with added flexibility to continue operating during the crisis.  The legislation also helps current borrowers with their student debt burden and GI bill benefits.  We also bolster SNAP and other initiatives to address food insecurity.

 

“For our Democracy: Ensures that states can carry out this year’s election with billions in grant funding for states through the Election Assistance Commission and a national requirement for both 15 days of early voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail, including mailing a ballot to all registered voters in an emergency.

 

“We will continue to work relentlessly and in a bipartisan way to put Families and Workers First and protect Americans’ health, economic security and well-being,” stated Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

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Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and a member of the Budget Committee.