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Suozzi Fights for New York: Appointed by White House to Bipartisan Task Force on Reopening the Economy

April 20, 2020
Press Release
Issues Bipartisan Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist

As his constituents and all New Yorkers continue to reel from life at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D – Long Island, Queens) remains singularly focused on the fight for the health and economic well-being of all New Yorkers. This fight includes more resources for our New York hospitals, more funding for New York State and local governments, funding for small businesses, and a safe measured approach to the reopening of our economy.

To date, Suozzi has led four bipartisan letters, some from the entire New York and New Jersey congressional delegations, advocating that the distribution of federal funding should be based upon the rate of infection and not merely population-based.  

“It is just wrong that hospitals in New York State are not getting the money that they critically need during this crisis,” said Suozzi. “The intention of Congress was to take care of those places that needed the help the most. New York needs help and we need it now.”

Last Thursday, the White House announced that Congressman Suozzi has been appointed to the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group. The bipartisan task force, which includes 97 members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, is just one of the task forces created by the White House to assess when the country should begin lifting restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Congressman Suozzi is the only Democrat from the New York delegation and one of only 10 Democrats in the nation.

“New York is at the epicenter of this storm and as a result, we need special attention for our hospitals and our state and local governments,” said Suozzi. “We need to create funding formulas that are based on the rate of coronavirus infection and not irrelevant formulas that short New York and Long Island, diverting funding that is desperately needed here and now. Serving on this task force, I will give our region a voice and a fighting chance.”

On Monday, Suozzi joined his colleagues in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in releasing a Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist, a multi-prong, data-driven proposal focused on reopening America safely and reigniting the economy. The 50-member Caucus found consensus on a bipartisan set of recommendations focused on public health, economic rescue, and stimulus plans for our country’s immediate future. The plan will serve as guiding principles that the Problem Solvers Caucus hope to see incorporated and addressed in the country’s plans to address the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist is available here.

“Our Problem Solvers checklist presents a common-sense path forward. More testing, contact tracing, and heeding the advice of experts will be essential,” said Suozzi. “We must also understand that reopening the economy in New York is very different than reopening it in North Dakota and we will need special help in New York. Everyone must put aside partisanship and work for the common good.”

On Monday morning, Congressman Suozzi was a guest on NPR’s The Brian Lehrer Show where he spoke about and took questions from callers on his fight for federal dollars for New York. Suozzi is fighting to replenish the small business Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and is highlighting the needs of “small”er businesses and not simply “big” small businesses. Congressman Suozzi’s entire interview can be heard here.

“Companies looking for $1 million are getting funded, but doctors, dentists, and plumbers with small practices looking for $50,000 or $100,000 are hearing ‘sorry, no more money left,’ said Suozzi. “Too many banks prioritized existing clients with bigger businesses and ignored the little guys.”

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