New Hampshire’s Members of Congress praise proposed bipartisan COVID-19 relief

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Shaheen talks during the press conference. Screenshot

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Manchester’s members of Congress came out in strong support a bi-partisan compromise framework toward a new COVID-19 relief bill before the end of 2020.

New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan were among the Democratic, Republican and Independent Senators revealing the compromise framework, at a press conference led by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Tuesday morning.

The framework totals $908 billion, just under half of what Democrats requested in recent months for a successor to the CARES Act.


Courtesy/Office of Senator Joe Manchin

While specifics are still being determined, the framework includes support for priorities frequently noted by Democratic lawmakers such as support for the U.S. Postal Service, broadband infrastructure spending and support for local governments.

Shaheen hopes the new framework, which is built upon the template of the CARES Act, can help address the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the press conference, the framework was seen as a bridge to last until the end of March, with additional relief under consideration in future months as needed.

“We put our heads together again and have come up with a new bipartisan framework to build on that progress to help small businesses get to the other side of this crisis, and to provide funds for state and local government governments, support for vaccine development and distribution, assistance for our schools and universities, and relief for our health care providers,” said Shaheen in a statement. “But this is just step one. We need more leaders on both sides of the aisle to join us so we can finish what we’ve started and deliver the relief that Americans are calling for.”

Hassan urged her fellow elected officials in both houses of Congress to accept the framework given the urgent need to provide support as the initial CARES Act funding dissipates and the pandemic continues to re-grow as the weather gets colder.

“It is extraordinarily American to have strong opinions and difficult disagreements that’s what we all sometimes bring to this work. But it is equally American to come together after the arguments and find a way forward. To unite around a common purpose and to remember that when America unites there is nothing we cannot do,” said Hassan at the press conference.

On Tuesday afternoon, Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) praised the news in a virtual press conference with Laconia Mayor Andrew Hosmer, Tupelo Music Hall Owner Scott Hayward, C&J Bus Line President and CEO Jim Jalbert and Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth President Valerie Rochon.

Those assembled at Pappas’ press conference echoed the urgency to support America’s small businesses referenced at Manchin’s press conference.

Pappas has frequently expressed the need for a new and immediate relief package in recent weeks and believes it will find support from rank-and-file members of both parties given its roots in the CARES Act and what he’s been seeing and hearing in terms of COVID-19 statistics and constituent feedback.

Additionally, Pappas believes that large and mandatory end-of-year legislation such as defense spending re-authorization and passing spending to avoid government shutdowns will only help the framework pass.

“I do believe it can be passed. Any time you see the type of coalition at the press conference this morning, there’s a lot of bottom up pressure for this concept,” said Pappas.

About this Author

andrewsylvia

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.