March 23, 2020

Congressman Neguse Calls For Direct Cash Assistance for Colorado Families in Congress’s Economic Stimulus Package

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Joe Neguse, who represents Colorado’s 2nd District in Congress and serves as a member of the House Leadership team, today called for immediate cash assistance, or universal basic income, to be included in the economic stimulus package currently in negotiation in Congress

“Families across our country are hurting, and Congress must act with the boldness and urgency that this crisis requires,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “We must provide immediate economic relief so working Americans and the businesses that rely on them can stay afloat. Colorado families struggling from the impact of this public health crisis need sustained economic help now, not later.”

Congressman Neguse is supporting several proposals that would direct cash payments to families across the country. He has co-sponsored a proposal from Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, to provide $4,000 in annual direct cash payments to every American making under $100,000, $2,000 for every American making over $100,000 and $1,000 for every child under the age of 18. Kennedy’s measure would also eliminate the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance imposed by some states, extend unemployment insurance by an additional 13 weeks and boost Medicaid's Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, which would send more funding to health care centers across the country. Additionally, he has co-sponsored a proposal from Congressman Ro Khanna and Congressman Tim Ryan to provide $1,000 a month to each American and up to $3,000 a month for families with at least two children.

Following emergency preparedness guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses across the U.S. have reduced workers in the service industry in broad numbers. In Colorado just last week 180,000 attempts to apply for unemployment were made through the state’s Department of Labor and Employment. 

The Congressman also apprised the Committee Chairs of the House Committee on Appropriations, House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee of his requests for the creation of a First Responders Fund, universal vote by mail provisions and expansion of relief for small businesses to be included in the omnibus package, as well as several other priorities. 

Neguse’s COVID-19 response

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Congressman Neguse has worked to provide information, resources and assistance to communities across the 2nd District and uplift vulnerable communities in the wake of the public health crisis. Last week, he called on Attorney General Barr to address the extensive price gouging that has occurred in the midst of coronavirus. After speaking with multiple constituents by phone who are abroad and struggling to find a way back to the U.S., Neguse led over 60 of his colleagues to request additional assistance from the State Department to help bring Americans home who are stuck abroad. 

Last week, he supported efforts by the Rocky Mountain National Park superintendent and Estes Park Mayor to earn local control from Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt so the park could make appropriate decisions about closures and coronavirus response. After Stone Hound Distilleries in Lyons began an effort to produce hand sanitizer for first responders and healthcare facilities, Neguse wrote to the FDA to get clarified guidance to ensure the Lyons distillery and others could continue the initiative and sell their product. He helped the state of Colorado and all 10 counties in his district to earn a disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to open up access for small businesses throughout Colorado for up to $2 million in SBA disaster loans. He helped deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers across Colorado by requesting access to the Strategic National Supply and has demanded that the White House leverage the Department of Defense resources to ensure providers and communities continue to have access to critical resources. He has urged credit reporting agencies to cease reporting missed payments on hospital bills, mortgage payments and credit card debt, and asked for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions from Federally Assisted Housing and private lenders. 

Throughout the outbreak, Neguse has coordinated his response with Governor Jared Polis, mayors and other elected officials in his district and hospital leaders to hear what they need to best respond back home. He hosted a telephone town hall with nearly 5,000 constituents and local health directors from Larimer, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, and Eagle to answer questions about basic safety measures and how to keep our communities safe. He continues to keep constituents up to day with frequent emails to share critical prevention information and updates about actions from the state and federal government in response to the crisis and through a resources page on his website at neguse.house.gov/coronavirus.