Kaptur, Dingell, Phillips, Levin Demand Support For Frontline Public Service Workers In Next Coronavirus Aid Package

May 1, 2020
Press Release
While Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell says states should be forced to file for bankruptcy, Midwest Democrats are fighting for critical aid that state and local governments need to pay healthcare workers, police, firefighters, teachers, and others

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, (D-OH), along with Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Andy Levin (D-MI) held a call with regional reporters on Thursday as House Democrats are demanding support for the region’s frontline public service workers in next Coronavirus aid package.


Midwest Democrats are fighting for critical aid that state and local governments need to pay healthcare workers, police, firefighters, teachers and other frontline public service workers during the crisis.


But, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who blocked such aid in the most recent package – recently said he believes states should be forced to file bankruptcy, putting the livelihoods of frontline public service workers at risk. Last week, President Trump indicated he would support funding for state, tribal and local governments in the next package. But this week, the President indicated he may be backtracking on that promise. 


Midwest Democrats are holding the President accountable to his commitment and fighting to ensure the region and our workers have the support we need amid the Coronavirus pandemic.


“It is absolutely essential that communities across Ohio and the Midwest receive the coronavirus relief funding they need to safely navigate the difficult and unprecedented circumstances within which we find ourselves,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Emergency federal support is critical for the public service workers on the frontlines of this fight. Just as we wouldn’t send our soldiers to the frontlines without rifles or boots, why would we send our healthcare professionals and first responders to the frontlines without PPE or ask our local governments to cut funding for first responders when they are needed most? We have an opportunity to support frontline service workers and our communities in the next coronavirus relief package, and I’m glad to have partners like Representatives Dingell, Phillips, and Levin in that effort.”


“Frontline public service workers, from police and fire to healthcare and EMS, are putting their lives at risk every day during this pandemic. The next aid package must put families and communities first by ensuring that public services, and the dedicated workers who provide them, are protected,” said Rep. Dingell.


“We have to make sure that smaller cities like Warren and Royal Oak, MI are not left out of the COVID-19 response effort. We’re working to ensure they get much-needed support in the next relief bill passed by Congress, and we must get started on a nationwide contact tracing operation so we can get on track to overcome this pandemic and re-open our country and economy,” said Rep. Levin.


“So far, both parties have come together to pass hundreds of billions of dollars to provide relief for Americans across the country. While I’m encouraged by our progress so far, our job isn’t done. We need to provide relief for local and state governments. We need widespread testing. And we need to protect the vote in November. This has been the most significant distribution of taxpayer dollars in human history, and as members of Congress we have a responsibility to put partisanship aside and ensure that money flows to the communities, families, and small businesses which need it most,” said Rep. Phillips.


Last week, the House passed its third bipartisan emergency package. The original proposal from the White House and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell did nothing to ensure our local main street businesses can access the support they need. It left hospitals and healthcare workers out. And it failed to include testing we know is so desperately needed to reopen our economy safely.


But Democrats insisted on changes and we secured critical provisions for the people of the Midwest

  • For small businesses: Democrats strengthened the Paycheck Protection Program with $310 billion in additional funding, with $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks and credit unions and $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions.  Democrats also expanded small business support beyond PPP by securing $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants.  And Democrats included strong protections to ensure that our nation’s farmers have access to this vital assistance.
  • For hospitals and health care workers: Democrats secured $75 billion to provide resources to the frontlines, including Personal Protective Equipment. 
  • For all Americans: Democrats secured $25 billion for testing, which is the key to reopening the economy safely.


Sadly, in the interim bill, the Administration refused to agree to more funding for state, tribal and local governments on the front lines of this crisis who desperately need an infusion of funds to pay the workers who keep communities safe. Midwest Democrats are demanding that support be included in the next package.