CRNH: Chris Pappas 12-21-20

Chris Pappas says about the last-minute stimulus package which is being considered by Congress, “This is a negotiated compromise. This is how things should happen, but it shouldn’t take this long… Shame on all of those who could have brought a solution to us quicker.”

In an interview with WKXL’s Chris Ryan, the Representative from New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, Chris Pappas discusses the COVID relief legislation which is being considered by Congress, reviews the back-and-forth negotiation process between the Senate and House of Representative which has gone on since May; speaks out about whether members of Congress should be receiving COVID vaccinations now along with frontline medical workers; and explains how the election process will play out as Congress counts the votes of the Electoral College.

Congressman Pappas encourages everyone to take the vaccine when it becomes available to your designated group. He acknowledges that the Administration has given an Executive Order which includes members of Congress as part of the group in the first phase of vaccinations.
The Congressman has declined and will wait until it is available to the general public, but he is mortified that several members of Congress who blocked COVID relief efforts have jumped the line and received vaccinations.

Congressman Pappas explains that the new stimulus package will include the following: the distribution of the COVID vaccines; direct payments of $600 per person, so a family of four would receive $2400; enhanced unemployment benefits of $300 per week; significant support in the form of loans which are targeted for small businesses; $25 billion is set aside for rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium; and additional funding for child-care and nutrition programs. The Congressman expects that the House of Representatives will pass the stimulus bill this afternoon.

The House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion stimulus bill called the HEROES-Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act in May, but it stalled in the Senate. On December 21st, Congressman Pappas explains, without casting blame, how it took so long pass a relief bill. He discusses the two major sticking points which have for the most part left out of this package. The Democrats wanted financial aid for state governments which are experiencing budget short falls, and the Republicans wanted liability protection for businesses.

The Electoral College voted on December 14th and each state will send the results to Congress. On January 6th, Congress will count the votes. Congressman Pappas expects that there will be some objections to the results, that will trigger a process where both the House and the Senate will deliberate, and then take a vote. In the end, the Congressman believes that Joe Biden will be confirmed as the 46th President of the United States.