Governor Charlie Baker and four other Republican governors — among them New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Vermont Governor Phil Scott — released a joint statement Monday calling on Congress “to pass an urgently-needed COVID-19 relief bill.”
“As Republican governors on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, we strongly urge Congress to pass a bipartisan agreement on a COVID-19 relief package this month,” the statement reads. The governors did not outline nor endorse any specific form of relief package they hoped to see pass.
The governors noted that more than eight months have passed since the last federal coronavirus stimulus package became law and that “many vital CARES Act programs” have already run out — with more set to soon expire.
New statement from five GOP govs: Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker, Phil Scott, Chris Sununu and Asa Hutchinson...— Stephanie Murray (@stephanie_murr) December 7, 2020
“As Republican governors on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, we strongly urge Congress to pass a bipartisan agreement on a COVID-19 relief package this month.” pic.twitter.com/RLMIYZeMAK
“The people in our states continue to pay a high price for Congress’ inaction,” the statement reads. “At this moment, millions of struggling American workers, families, and small businesses are hanging by a thread.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and the other Republican leaders wrote that forms of assistance like unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program were “essential” to the survival of their constituents.
“It would be unconscionable if Congress were to pull their lifeline now,” the statement reads.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to face challenges negotiating how they want to deliver long-delayed pandemic relief, including additional help for businesses affected by the pandemic and unemployment benefits.
“We recognize that there are legitimate differences of opinion on what an ideal package should contain, but these differences pale in comparison to the cost of doing nothing,” the statement reads.
The governors concluded: “It is time to act. There is no more room for partisan positioning and political gamesmanship. Congress must come together and take action now.”
Shannon Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.