"This is about healing. Not just physical healing for the 4 million citizens who've already suffered from corona-virus, but the country needs to heal politically, economically, and socially. How can we do that without support of leaders who refuse to invest in the well-being of their own citizens? These past few months of federal inaction is cowardice." - DF
NEGAUNEE, Mich. — On May 15, Rep. Jack Bergman (R, Watersmeet) called the most recent stimulus package a "socialist… feckless political stunt." Despite Bergman's contrarian 'No' vote, the HEROES Act passed and awaits Congressional consolidation in the US Senate.
Dana Ferguson (D, Negaunee), vying for the Democratic nomination in Michigan's First Congressional District on Tues. Aug. 4, said Bergman's ineffective, divisive rhetoric is tone-deaf to struggling Northern Michiganders and all Americans across the country.
"COVID-19 continues to wreck havoc across the nation," said Ferguson. "Republicans, including Jack Bergman, are still trying defame every relief effort as 'socialism' but offer no other productive solutions. Their pandering to their base is lip service, not solution-based."
Ferguson says COVID-19 didn't end. Nationally, it's only gotten worse. So, after his support of the CARES Act, Bergman should have been prudent enough to understand the need for economic stimulus for Americans didn't just disappear.
"Small businesses are still being rejected for loans as large corporations get bailed out and money leaks back into the political system," said Ferguson. "Yet, main street business, the middle class, and working Americans suffer. Millions are unemployed and the uncontrollable pandemic surge was due to ineffective government leadership. Why would we stop supporting citizens — and our democracy — during a time of increased crisis?"
As stated in the letter by 19 Senate Democrats urging Mitch McConnel to bring the Act to a vote, important provisions are protections for essential workers; financial assistance to states, tribes, and local communities to support the reopening of schools; provisions to ensure safe and accessible voting for all eligible voters in November; support for Americans who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis including enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and rental assistance; vital funding to ensure the U.S. Postal Service can continue to deliver mail; and a national testing and contact tracing strategy.
The candidate said COVID-19 disproportionately affects Communities of Color and Indian Country, Americans already burdened with systemic disparities both socially and within our healthcare system. "This is about healing. Not just physical healing for the 4 million citizens who've already suffered from corona-virus, but the country needs to heal politically, economically, and socially," said Ferguson. " How can we do that without support of leaders who refuse to invest in the well-being of their own citizens? These past few months of federal inaction is cowardice."
Ferguson also echos the sentiments AFL-CIO:
"We need to keep all workers safe and healthy on the job by demanding that government agencies charged with keeping us safe at work do their job and function properly," they said during today's National Call-In Day. "As front-line workers put themselves and their health at risk every single day, we will stand up and say with conviction that workers are essential, not expendable.
"Every worker would rather earn a paycheck than receive an unemployment check. We must ensure that working people are kept on the payrolls for the duration of this crisis, and we demand that the government protect our earned pension benefits."
The AFL-CIO says America is going through a health crisis, yet the first thing millions of people are losing is their health insurance and it believes a healthy economy cannot exist without a healthy workforce. It underscored the need to expand healthcare coverage by stressing the need to make COBRA benefits available and affordable for all workers who are now out of work.
PROVISIONS WITHIN THE BILL SUPPORTED BY SENATE DEMOCRATS & DANA FERGUSON INCLUDE:
Protections for essential workers;
Financial assistance to states, tribes, and local communities so that schools can reopen and parents can return to work and they can continue providing critical services like health and housing assistance;
Provisions to ensure safe and accessible voting for all eligible voters in November;
Help for all people who have lost income to make ends meet, including by boosting SNAP, providing rental assistance, cash payments, and extending enhanced unemployment insurance benefits;
A national strategy to increase testing and contact tracing to avoid a catastrophic second wave of infections;
Vital funding to ensure the U.S. Postal Service can continue to deliver mail to people across the country; and
In recognition that the virus and its impacts are hitting communities of color the hardest, policies to ensure explicitly that the bill invests in and protects the health and economic well-being of all Black and Brown people living in America.
There’s also a very admirable proposal for a nationwide #VoteByMail initiative, something 70% of Americans support, and GOP leaders have historically opposed, fearing high voter turnout in elections, for which Dana Ferguson has advocated since releasing his policy on voting rights in early June.