We need to do right by workers and families

Dear Friend,

Families in New Mexico are on edge. In recent weeks, we have seen record numbers of our fellow New Mexicans test positive for the coronavirus. Many families worry about where they will get their next meal or fear eviction because they weren't able to pay their rent. There is also so much uncertainty about whether or not schools, child care centers, and small businesses will have the resources and equipment to reopen safely.

I want you to know that I am continuing to do everything in my power to fight for the support New Mexicans need, the science-based public health response necessary to save lives, and economic investments to rebuild our communities.

President Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's failure to lead during this pandemic is apparent in the Republicans' proposals that fall far, far short of what our nation needs in both scale and substance. There are some key priorities for New Mexico that were totally absent in Leader McConnell's Republican bill that are critical for our state.

Small and rural communities across the nation are facing enormous economic burdens and costs. It is crucial that we provide the same direct emergency assurances to smaller towns, counties, and cities and grant them the same stability that we are providing our larger metropolitan areas. Earlier this year, I introduced the Coronavirus Community Relief Act to provide $250 billion in stabilization funds geared towards localities with populations under 500,000 that are struggling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House passed this support for local governments in their relief bill, the Heroes Act, and the Senate needs to do the same.

Tribal nations have been at the epicenter of the pandemic and have had to take on unprecedented costs to protect the health and safety of their communities. I have introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Tribal COVID-19 Disaster Assistance Cost Share Relief Act to make sure tribes receive the full federal funding support they need to cover their emergency response and make it through this crisis. I am also fighting to extend the coverage of tribal Coronavirus Relief Fund payments allocated under the CARES Act so tribes can continue to receive support beyond the end of this year.

Unfortunately, we also still have a long way to go to scale up a more comprehensive nationwide testing infrastructure to track, trace and effectively respond to the virus itself. We will never be able to emerge from this economic crisis until we effectively address the pandemic. The Senate Republicans' bill last week had woefully insufficient funding to finally get our testing and contact tracing efforts up to the level necessary to contain the spread of the virus. They also failed to include enough resources to implement the type of mass vaccine campaign we know we will need to ultimately put an end to this public health nightmare.

I will never stop fighting for New Mexicans during this time of great need. If there is any way that I can assist you or your family during this time, please contact my office.

Be well and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH

United States Senator