They call themselves the House Problem Solvers Caucus and they’ve met every day by teleconference since the coronavirus shut down Congress.
The bipartisan group offered a plan to get the country moving again based on widespread testing for the virus and rebuilding the healthcare system.
The group has 48 members, including Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat whose district covers much of metro Las Vegas.
Lee said Nevada could be the state hardest hit financially by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus and that fact should be considered in future federal relief efforts.
"Our whole delegation will be unified about advocating that the rest of Congress understand just how impacted our state is," she told State of Nevada.
Lee said she has already talked to Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the needs of the state.
“When we’re looking for packages on how we’re going to emerge from this crisis, I am going to be advocating that it’s not based on how many COVID-19 cases a state has, but more importantly what the impact on the state revenues are, what we’re seeing in terms of the GDP, unemployment rates so that we’re getting the resources to the states that are most hardest hit,” she said.
While Lee is looking ahead, she also said that the economic crisis we're in right now can't be addressed until the public health crisis is addressed. Lee said her priority right now is getting resources to Nevada and making sure her staff is still addressing the needs of her constituents.
While the focus is on the current situation, Lee said when the pandemic subsides the country should look at ways to better prepare for another outbreak, including looking at critical supply lines for medical devices and supplies, how to prevent massive layoffs and preparing communities for the worst, “making sure we’re putting the infrastructure in place so the devastation won’t be quite as significant as it has been with this pandemic,” she said.
There is no question that for the last several years Washington, D.C. has been dogged by partisanship that has sometimes turned very bitter. Lee said that the quick response from Congress to pass three relief packages shows lawmakers can work together when "push comes to shove."
She believes that despite the stress the pandemic has put on everyone there will be some good that will come out of it.
“There will be silver linings from this and I do think that one of them is understanding what it means to give to your community. It might not be in your personal best interest to stay home from your job but ultimately that’s what we all need to do to make sure we stop the spread of this virus,” she said.
Rep. Susie Lee, D-NV.
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