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Dingell Update: July 17, 2020

Washington, July 17, 2020
Here is an update for July 17th.
 
Thought of the day: “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” - Lee Iacocca

These past two days were full of discussing really important topics. And these next three weeks are going to be even more critical as Congress comes back into session.

Restaurants – especially locally owned, independent restaurants – are neighborhood gathering places. Right now, these restaurants – which are the heart and soul of our communities – are bearing the brunt of the very real challenges of the pandemic. Yesterday, I held a very emotional and at times raw conversation with Ari from Zingermans, Melvin from We the People Growers Association in Ypsi, and Ping Ho of Marrow in Detroit. Institutions like Zingerman’s provide jobs, feed us, donate to so many, and help feed the hungry. They are really going through hard times and none of us can ever imagine them not being there. But that is the reality we are talking about. It’s critical that Congress works together to provide much-needed assistance to the industry and all in our community that need a help up. We can’t let them fall to the side.

Speaking of much-needed assistance. Today marks one week until Congress must take action to extend federal unemployment benefits. Last week 1.3 million people applied for unemployment, while the numbers have fallen since the spike in March, these numbers are almost double the worst levels during the Great Recession. Yesterday, I joined Michigan United, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, labor leaders and economists to discuss the critical need to extend federal unemployment benefits. People need to feel safe. They need to know if they get sick, they can afford to stay home and not put others in danger. And if they have pre-existing conditions or childcare challenges, they need to know they can still make rent and buy groceries. We must extend critical federal unemployment benefits so no worker who lost their job or had their hours reduced because of public health measures should have to face financial ruin.

Wednesday, over the course of four hours, the Energy and Commerce committee advanced 30 bipartisan bills – all but one by unanimous votes. These bills will make a real difference in people’s live including many areas very important to me. The committee passed critical legislation of bipartisan provisions to enhance the Strategic National Stockpile. Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin brought together 18 members – 9 Democrats, 9 Republicans – with bills to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical medical supplies and make much-needed improvements and updates to America’s Strategic National Stockpile, including my bill to boost domestic manufacturing to make critical medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19 in America. When we all work together, there’s so much we can do to combat COVID-91 and to help the hardworking men and women of this country. We also passed critical legislation that I have been working on for years to make it easier for people to access the suicide prevention hotline. Having a three digit code will make it easy to remember and save lives.

This weekend, I return to DC as Congress comes back into session for three weeks. We’ll start with important legislation to address our nation’s defense policy. We have to pass this legislation every year and provides the opportunity to improve and strengthen our national security and defense systems. I’m working hard to make sure this critical legislation includes provisions the takes long-overdue actions to address PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country. Stay tuned, we will have plenty to update next week on this and more topics.

Team Dingell is here seven days a week and wants to listen and help. It isn’t as smooth as we want on some issues, but we will never stop fighting for you. Call our office at 313-278-2936 or contact us through Facebook or our webpage.
 
New information becomes available every day. Below is a list of resources and information that can be helpful during this time. Please share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues. Remember, stay home, stay safe, save lives.

Coronavirus information

File for unemployment

Small Businesses can apply for low-interest disaster loans

Navigating Social Security Benefits
 
School Based Food Service Interactive Map
 
Food Banks and Kitchens in Michigan's 12th Congressional District
 
Contact numbers for people looking for information are:
• Centers for Disease Control, cdc.gov/coronavirus, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
Michigan.gov/coronavirus, or 888-535-6136.

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