PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As Congress works to find solutions amid the coronavirus pandemic, two local congressmen say it’s been a bipartisan effort.
“We have to put country and public safety above politics,” said Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, 14th Congressional District.
Bipartisan negotiations continued in the Senate on Friday night on a $1 trillion economic stimulus package, which would give money directly to Americans based on their income.
“We need to do more,” said Rep. Conor Lamb, 17th Congressional District. “But right now, everybody’s working together pretty well and we need that to continue.”
The economic stimulus package is the third phase of coronavirus-related stimulus packages.
Other relief bills partly included free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave and emergency response.
Both congressmen say an economic stimulus package is needed as unemployment claims across the country increase.
“They’re all affected,” Reschenthaler said. “So if we can get money to those individuals just to help them, that’s needed. Then, of course, we’re going to have to come back and look at the industries that have been damaged.”
Along with Americans losing jobs at an increased rate, businesses across the country are temporarily closing their doors in the hope of slowing the spread of coronavirus.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered all non-essential businesses to close.
“Our biggest goal right now is to get money to families and small businesses and anyone that needs it to just ride this thing out,” said Lamb.
As legislators work toward solutions, they’re asking the public to pay close attention to health officials.
“I’m really concerned that people are not taking this as seriously as they should be,” said Reschenthaler.
“The quicker that we slow down the virus, that we flatten the curve as people have talked about, the more quickly we do that, the better economy we’re going to have on the other side,” said Lamb.