American Families Need Aid NOW, Says O’Halleran

August 17, 2020
Press Release

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK—Today, following the Senate’s move to adjourn for August recess without passing a new COVID-19 aid package to provide critical relief for American families, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) released the following statement:

“The CARES Act was signed into law in March. Within the package were clear end dates for many of the programs on which American families now rely: increased unemployment benefits, expanded food assistance, new small business loans, and more. Now, past the deadline to extend many of these initiatives, and with 30 million Americans still unemployed, the Senate—wherein the House-passed Heroes Act sat idle for over three months—has adjourned for August. Why, as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise in so many areas of our nation, is Senate leadership taking a pause? This is unacceptable.  

“There is—quite literally—no time left to waste to prepare our nation for resurges of this virus during the fall and winter months. Public health experts have been warning elected leaders about a second wave since we first learned of the seriousness of COVID-19, and we have no national testing and tracing strategy to show for it. I have contacted this administration again and again, attempting to impart the seriousness of this matter and the need for a national testing and tracing plan, and still await a response. House Committees handling issues from health care, to education, to veterans affairs have held hearings, conducted markups, and worked on issues intersecting this pandemic across the board all summer as well. As much as we would all like for our small businesses and schools to be able to reopen safely and on schedule, we have done next to nothing at the national level to track the data and public health trends we must consider to achieve these goals. I’m concerned that this inaction will be detrimental to the health of families and children in my district and throughout our country.

“This is not the time to pause. I stand ready and willing to work with anyone of any party to get a deal done for American families before more lives and livelihoods are lost. We need to extend unemployment, make sure struggling families have access to food, safe education, and clear public health guidance, and, more than anything, we need a plan to scale up our national testing and tracing operations as soon as possible.”

Below is a list of letters O’Halleran has sent to the White House Coronavirus Task Force regarding COVID-19, all of which remain unanswered:

Sent May 6 

Sent April 12 

Sent March 29

Sent March 20

Sent March 10