PA House Dems stand with those impacted by mitigation efforts; call for support and safety in pandemic response

HARRISBURG, Dec. 11 – Following news of the governor’s most recent mitigation efforts and hearing Republicans rebuke these safety efforts, Pennsylvania House Democratic leaders released this statement today:

“As cases of COVID-19 surge throughout Pennsylvania and our hospitals become increasingly strained, the decision made by Governor Tom Wolf was a difficult but necessary choice that will undoubtedly save lives. We understand the economic impact this will have on many local businesses and are angry and frustrated that our Republican colleagues, who have held majorities in the House and Senate for years -- and through this pandemic -- continue to choose political gamesmanship over providing meaningful relief to this commonwealth.

“We had an opportunity to provide $1.3 billion in relief to those impacted by this pandemic -- to provide relief to farmers, childcare providers, veterans, local restaurants, frontline workers, wineries, breweries, distillers and more. Republican leaders did not bring a single one of those bills to the floor for a vote. Relief funding should be used to set up contingencies for if and when virus mitigation efforts will need to be implemented. Instead, Republican leaders chose to use it to close funding gaps in the budget.

“Unfortunately, what was left undone by our colleagues has left these industries floundering again, this time wondering how they will make it through the holidays during a deeply strained time. And, while Republicans will continue to place the blame on the governor, they must remember that when they had the chance to put people over politics, they chose politics and failed to move commonsense measures that could have helped the very people they claimed they wanted to help when calling for sweeping reopening efforts. Calling for these people to go back to work so they can serve their communities, and not providing support for their businesses when it’s unsafe for them to do so, is inhumane.

“Until we can begin considering legislation again, House Democrats remain committed to putting people first and will continue to call on our colleagues in the majority to move legislation that helps our communities through this pandemic safely.”