Golden Statement on Passage of COVID-19 Relief Package, Government Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) released the following statement after the passage of bipartisan legislation to provide COVID-19 relief to millions of Americans and to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year:
“Today’s vote in Congress is encouraging news at the end of a challenging year. The unwillingness of so many members of Congress to accept compromise throughout the fall has been deeply frustrating for so many people who are facing economic uncertainty and concerns about their health and well-being. This legislation will provide much-needed aid to small businesses and hospitals, the unemployed, and families struggling to put food on the table. It will also provide funds to speed the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“In the months ahead, my staff will be prepared to help connect constituents and businesses in our district with the assistance in this relief bill that they are eligible for and will need to make it through the winter and the current COVID-19 spike in our state. If you live in Maine and need help, please call our office.
“We shouldn’t let the fact that Congress is finally taking action distract from its failure to act sooner. This relief legislation could have and should have happened months ago, and it’s sad that congressional leaders let partisan interests get in the way of agreeing to an earlier deal. In 2021, Congress needs to step up and lead the country through this pandemic and get our economy back on track.
“Yet again, the process that political leaders have used these past few weeks has lacked transparency, and members of Congress are being asked to again vote on a massive COVID relief bill with only hours to review over 5,000 pages of legislation. Although I supported the bill today in order to get much needed support to my constituents, I will continue to review the details of this legislation and demand accountability for any wasteful or unrelated provisions. Just as we saw with the CARES Act, such a poor process with little transparency empowers Washington special interests and lends itself to the kind of backroom dealing that results in giveaways for the rich and well-connected at the expense of working, middle-class families and small business owners. That’s the kind of soft corruption the people I represent hate, and I won’t tolerate it.” - Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02)
Following passage of the CARES Act in March, Golden has consistently pressured congressional leaders to work together and come to a compromise deal to provide coronavirus relief to struggling Americans. In September, he led a group of 34 members of Congressto urge House leaders to take up a bipartisan proposal like the one proposed by the Problem Solvers Caucus.
In May, Golden voted against the HEROES Act, because he believed the legislation “deliberately abandons [a bipartisan, consensus] approach and makes more difficult the type of compromise that will be required to deliver the support our country needs.” In August, he led a bipartisan group of 18 members to urge House leaders to restart negotiations. He has repeatedly pressed for bipartisan solutions to address the effects of COVID, including small business relief, aid for loggersand lobstermen, rural hospitals, and funding for state and local governments.