Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Returning to the People's House

May 1, 2020
Column

The American people expect their elected officials to put the interests of their countrymen above their own well-being. From the beginning of this crisis, we asked the same of our healthcare professionals, truck drivers, grocery workers, and thousands of others fulfilling essential functions, often at great risk to their own safety. While these members of our workforce have answered their call to serve, the United States House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not responded in kind.

Lawmakers should be leading from the front, spearheading legislation to navigate our country through this period of uncertainty rather than hunkering down away from Washington, D.C. It’s time for Congress to get back to work.

There are precautions that we can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, just as we demonstrated last week when Congress returned to authorize additional funds for rural hospitals, the Paycheck Protection Program and increased testing. Americans need further relief, which we cannot provide so long as legislators are asked to stay away from the Capitol.

There is no substitute for showing up; Texans who sacrificed jobs, schooling or social activities to comply with government-mandated “shelter-in-place” orders know this all too well.  While a full return to “normal” may not be immediately upon us, a semblance of normalcy cannot be achieved until Texans are able to provide for their families and go about their lives without intervention from the government.

Capitalism and entrepreneurship unleash human potential, which is currently being stifled beyond our control. There remains far too much work to do to for elected officials to sit idly by. Our farmers and ranchers need greater assistance so they can continue feeding our nation. We must provide more aid to rural hospitals and clinics to purchase essential supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE). Small businesses need additional cashflow to keep employees on payroll and their doors open.

Lawmakers must return to Washington to deliver for the people we serve and stand on the forefront of American economy as it is reopening and ready to rebound. I am ready to get back to work. There is no time to waste – our future hangs in the balance.