Wednesday, Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) led the Washington congressional delegation in urging Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, and five House Committee Chairs to address some of Washington state’s growing economic challenges in the next coronavirus-related stimulus bill. The delegation called on House leaders to support workers and businesses to mitigate the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak by expanding access to economic assistance, increasing investments to prevent housing displacement, creating parity for Tribes, and providing direct assistance to individuals. These policies reflect the needs of state, local, and tribal officials as communities across the state are adapting to prolonged social distancing measures. Washington state was the first impacted by COVID-19 and remains one of the most negatively affected.
“We hope you will consider the following proposals, many of which were developed by Washington state officials and our local communities who are working tirelessly to mitigate the deep economic impacts that our state is already experiencing, and that are beginning to expand nationwide,” the lawmakers wrote.
The policy proposals urge Congress and the federal government to:
- Ensure that all federal resources provided to support communities, workers, and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic are made available retroactively to the date on which a state, local, or tribal government first declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19.
- Expand direct access to economic assistance through increased investment in the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
- Increase investments in existing Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs to ensure individuals are not displaced as a result of COVID-19 related financial hardship and that communities have the resources they need to continue providing essential services throughout the duration of this epidemic.
- Create parity for Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Urban Indian Organizations by providing guaranteed direct access to all federal funding streams and resources created to combat, prevent, and mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Employ tax incentives to provide direct assistance to individuals impacted by prolonged social distancing protocols.
- Leverage the expertise of federal agencies to develop and disseminate best-practices to businesses and local communities to help further mitigate long-term impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The full letter can be found here.