Commentary: Yesterday, U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02) joined the House Problem Solvers Caucus in presenting a bipartisan COVID-19 relief plan to get lawmakers back to the negotiation table as progress stalls on a new federal relief package. The lawmakers consulted with the White House, House Leadership, and constituents to develop the nearly $2 trillion “March to Common Ground” framework, which prioritizes federal resources to support testing efforts, state and local governments, small businesses, and the agriculture industry.
“New Mexicans need resources now as they continue to confront the COVID-19 crisis on two fronts: protecting our public health and rescuing our economy. That means working with anyone, regardless of party, to identify key areas of agreement so Congress can deliver the relief our communities need,” said Torres Small. “Over the past weeks, I’ve met with small business owners, local elected leaders, first responders, and families across the district, and this plan establishes the strong priorities New Mexicans need to continue to weather COVID-19. I’m calling on my colleagues to come back to the negotiation table and put partisan politics aside to pass another relief package.”
The bipartisan plan would help deliver relief to New Mexico’s small businesses, state and local governments, agriculture industry, and families by allocating new stimulus money and reallocating previously appropriated CARES Act funding. Specifically, the plan invests:
- $100 billion in COVID-19 testing and healthcare, including $25 for testing and contact tracing. Additionally, the plan allocates $75 billion to support healthcare providers through efforts like telehealth expansion and the forgiveness of Medicare loans.
- $290 billion for small business relief, including $240 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.
- $316 billion in direct relief and assistance for families continuing to struggle to pay for food, rent, loans, and other necessities.
- More than $500 billion for state and local governments to continue addressing challenges from COVID-19.
- $25 billion for our nation’s agriculture industry to support producers and processors.
In addition to providing immediate relief to New Mexicans, the plan takes steps to ensure a complete 2020 Census count and support the U.S. Postal Service:
- Moves back the Census timeline to the end of October 2020.
- Allocates $15 billion for USPS in addition to reforming the retirement pre-funding mandate.
A full breakdown of the plan can be found here.