Columns

Blaine’s Bulletin: Coronavirus Update & National Police Week

Washington, May 15, 2020

Last week, Missouri began the first phase of reopening and life is starting to go back to normal. Most businesses are open, children’s sports will be starting up again, people are out and about, and our state is rebuilding. The last few months have been difficult as we shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus, but we are well on our way to getting Missouri back up and running. I know this health crisis took a massive toll on our local economy and I want to make sure my office is doing everything we can to help you get back on your feet. Whether you have a question about the PPP, unemployment benefits, or your stimulus check please don’t hesitate to give us a call. It’s going to take some patience and hard work, but I have no doubt that our state is going to come out of this stronger.

I was honored to be named by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise to the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis last week. On the surface, a new committee designed to perform oversight on the nation’s response to a pandemic makes sense.  It’s prudent governance. However, when you consider that there were already eight committees and task forces in place to perform oversight on the COVID-19 response before it was developed, this committee is duplicative at best. Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi established this committee with more Democrat members than Republicans with the intention of forcing through new attempts to attack the President and private businesses. Instead of focusing on beneficial health measures and reopening the economy, the committee’s first official act was a letter (that wasn’t even shared with Republicans on the committee before it was sent) demanding that businesses that rightfully received PPP loans send the money back immediately and begin laying off workers. These are not big businesses like Ruth’s Chris who took advantage of loopholes; they are businesses that surrounding communities depend on to keep their local economy afloat and feed their families. Given the fact that the Chairman of the committee, Congressman Jim Clyburn and Speaker Pelosi refused to speak to Republican members before taking action, I’m afraid Speaker Pelosi has created this committee with nothing more than a political agenda in mind.

With that said, my job on this committee will focus on holding China accountable for the virus and their efforts to cover it up, ensuring the families and small businesses most effected by the outbreak are getting the help they need, and putting an end to yet another political witch hunt before it starts. I appreciate being chosen for the committee and believe, despite the negative intentions of some, we have an opportunity to serve a meaningful purpose and get America back open for business. 

Congress will also be voting soon on the Democrats self-titled “liberal wish list” Speaker Pelosi has introduced. The $3 trillion, 1,800-page bill, which was drafted with no Republican input behind closed doors, is called a coronavirus aid package. But in reality, this bill is nothing of the sort. They have included things like a federal takeover of elections, weakened border security and benefits for illegal immigrants, and anti-work provisions that would make it more profitable for people to stay home than going back to their jobs. This is not a serious proposal, but rather a political statement, and I will not be voting for this bill. Thankfully even if it does pass in the House, it has no chance of passing in the Senate or becoming law. 

On a positive note, this week we celebrate National Police Week to honor the hardworking men and women in blue who work so hard – especially throughout the coronavirus crisis – to keep us safe and remember those who gave their lives in the line of duty. While many people have been working from home for the last couple months, police officers have continued to work as usual, walking out the door every morning not knowing if they’ll walk back through it that evening. Police Week was established by Congress in 1962 as a way to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their families, and today, May 15, all flags on government buildings will be flown at half-staff to remember these heroes. We are so thankful for Missouri’s incredible police force who work tirelessly to protect us not just this week, but all year long.