By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
30th Congressional District Texas in the US House of Representatives
One of the primary roles the government plays is to provide for the relief of its citizens through the creation of social programs that benefit the greater society. As a seasoned federal legislator, I have learned this lesson up close and personal. This is not a new phenomenon as we have seen examples many times over since our founding in 1776. So, in 2020, there is precedent for best practices and how to effectively deliver on our promise to be the voice of the people. However, the needs of everyday Americans are not being met. Since March, numerous problems caused by the Coronavirus Disease’s (COVID-19) global pandemic and the failure of the Trump administration must be addressed now. In Congress, we stand on the front lines of providing assistance for families suffering as a result of this deadly virus that has now killed more than 213,000–just in the United States alone. Unfortunately, and once again, our President has walked away from his responsibilities to protect the American people. He has shown the world who he is and what he truly represents.
In good faith, I along with my fellow House Democratic colleagues cannot separate financial support to the airline industry when everyday working people are hurting. Let’s be clear–it is all deficit spending. Nevertheless, the government’s rescue must come to the aid of its people in as fair a way, as possible. We should provide the resources in a broader spectrum that is equitable to everyone who needs it–not just Wall Street but Main Street as well. We need a stimulus plan that provides relief for as many individuals, families, and our small business owners, who are the heart of America and the backbone of this nation. As Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I will continue to push for an evidence-based plan that relies on science to crush the coronavirus. Specifically, a comprehensive package should include funding for our essential employees such as: health care front line workers; first responders; sanitation workers; transportation workers; foodservice and food production workers; teachers; school districts; and any others who provide services that are critical to keeping the American infrastructure intact.
Lastly, at this crucial juncture in American society, relief for industries and social services that are critical to the health of our economy and livelihoods is tantamount. From airline industry employees, restaurants, small and medium-sized businesses, to local municipalities and state governments, each of these components needs financial support. So how can we parse out one to have greater necessities than the other? In closing, President Trump has walked away from even trying to negotiate with the Congress in our joint effort to provide relief. His actions show that he simply does not care. Nor does he relate to the daily struggles of the average American who pays their taxes, goes to work, and simply wants to provide for their families. In times like these, we need leadership who not only cares but knows how to govern, so that we can keep our businesses open and all of the American people working.