WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen and Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas are calling on Congressional leadership to move forward on an additional, comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that meets the needs that they have heard from Granite Staters.
"We write today calling for Congress to step up and deliver critical, comprehensive COVID-19 relief when we reconvene after Thanksgiving," wrote the NH Congressional Delegation. "As cases continue to surge in our state and across the country, our health care providers and communities need additional relief now to help save lives – and we must come together across party lines, as we did earlier this year, to swiftly deliver additional relief."
The NH Congressional Delegation detailed a number of critical needs for the next package, including additional resources for public health that could support hospitals, nursing homes, the supply of personal protective equipment, and vaccine distribution efforts. They also voiced the need for additional resources for schools, businesses, and state and local governments that are facing significant challenges right now.
In addition, the NH Congressional Delegation pushed for more funding to help individuals, including for those who are facing housing instability. "We need to provide more resources to support those who are most vulnerable – including through additional direct assistance, expanded unemployment benefits, and a significant investment in funding for housing and to address homelessness," wrote the NH Congressional Delegation.
You can read the full letter from the NH Congressional Delegation here or below.
Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy:
We write today calling for Congress to step up and deliver critical, comprehensive COVID-19 relief when we reconvene after Thanksgiving. In New Hampshire, this devastating pandemic has taken the lives of more than 500 people. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones they left behind. As cases continue to surge in our state and across the country, our health care providers and communities need additional relief now to help save lives – and we must come together across party lines, as we did earlier this year, to swiftly deliver additional relief.
We have each spoken with constituents who have made clear the significant public health needs in our communities. Last week we met with the New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) and regional hospital CEOs, who relayed to us how the fall surge is stretching their capacities to deliver care, both for COVID-19 patients and others in need. While we are encouraged by promising recent announcements from vaccine manufacturers, looking ahead we know that New Hampshire, like other states, will need significant assistance in distributing one or more vaccines – including mobilizing the brave men and women of the New Hampshire National Guard. Nursing homes across the state are struggling to adequately staff their facilities due to outbreaks of COVID-19. And as some of us heard firsthand last week at a PPE shipment delivery, the need for basic supplies – such as masks, gloves, and testing equipment – continues to increase as this deadly virus surges.
We also know that the damage this virus has wreaked on our communities is not limited to public health. Schools across the state are making difficult choices about how best to serve their students – and they need additional resources to facilitate both remote and in-person learning. Our businesses continue to see higher costs and reduced revenues, and we must provide additional support to help them keep their doors open, do right by their workers, and get our economy back on track. Individuals and families are also dealing with the effects of the economic downturn over the past year. Far too many Granite Staters have been laid off, seen their hours reduced, or been forced to leave the workforce because of the closure of schools and child care programs. Far too many families are experiencing housing instability, the threat of eviction, or homelessness. We need to provide more resources to support those who are most vulnerable – including through additional direct assistance, expanded unemployment benefits, and a significant investment in funding for housing and to address homelessness. And we need to provide additional funding for state and local governments, to ensure the continuation of essential services and to avoid further layoffs.
As we did in March, Congress must come together, put partisanship aside, and help our fellow citizens in need get through this pandemic. The posturing and postponements must end – it is time to put our differences aside, roll up our sleeves, and deliver results for our constituents. Our communities cannot wait; we cannot tolerate further delays and losses of livelihoods and lives.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.