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9.8.20

Cal Cunningham, Patricia Timmons-Goodson Highlight Key Priorities For COVID-19 Aid Package As Senate Returns Today

Cal Renews His Calls for Immediate Federal Action For North Carolinians Suffering From Senate Inaction 

RALEIGH, NC — As the Senate returns today from an almost month-long recess, Cal Cunningham hosted a Zoom press call with Patricia Timmons-Goodson and North Carolinians to discuss the challenges they are facing, from unemployment to mail delays of prescription medications and struggling small businesses, resulting from Senate inaction on COVID-19 relief. Cal was also joined by North Carolinians, Bill Rowan, Kim Joy, and Isaac Sturgill, who spoke to the different issues facing people across the state. 

During the call, Cal said: “Senator Tillis said he wasn’t going to leave Washington until a new relief package was done, but he did just that. And that’s not the answer that North Carolinians need or expect from our elected officials.”

While Senator Thom Tillis and Mitch McConnell packed up and left Washington without passing COVID-19 relief, the federal unemployment benefits expired, schools returned without additional funding, millions remain without health coverage, and the USPS has seen major cuts, harming North Carolina’s rural communities and veterans

Cal released his COVID-19 priorities in May, and has been calling on Senator TIllis to take action to support North Carolinians struggling through this public health and economic crisis including by:

  • Expanding enhanced unemployment benefits,
  • Relieving state and local government budget shortfalls,
  • Providing resources for schools and small businesses,
  • Provide relief for the postal service, 
  • And passing a Medicaid expansion incentive. 

For the veterans in the 8th Congressional district who are worried about running low on their medications, Patricia Timmons-Goodson said: “When I hear a veteran saying that, it scares me. Not just for that veteran but with the understanding that there are a lot more out there…You know the pandemic is hard enough to deal with but we’ve got to put right above politics. And right is getting the resources to our citizens who find themselves in these difficulties through no fault of their own. They need their government.”

Bill Rowan, a Marine Corps Veteran who experienced USPS delays in his diabetes medication said: “We should support all veterans and particularly where health is concerned. I’m very grateful to have my health care from the V.A. and I’m concerned there are forces at work that are looking to degrade that.” 

Isaac Sturgill from North Carolina Legal Aid who works with North Carolinians facing eviction emphasized the severity of this economic crisis: “Many of our clients are out of work, many of our clients work in the food service industry or retail or other jobs that have faced furloughs or layoffs due to COVID-19 and they’ve been relying heavily on unemployment benefits to make ends meet. And so what we’ve seen is a lot of families struggling to pay their bills on those benefits, especially after the $600 supplemental benefit, the federal benefit that was cut off in July.” 

Kim Joy, who owns a small art business in Wilson shared her story and struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying: “COVID has taken its toll on my business this year. Last year, I was able to pay for the insurance, all the property taxes, and utilities out of the income. This year, I don’t know where that’s going to come from, the money for that. I do know that all small businesses have been hit by COVID and I hope that we will be able to survive and come out the other end with our businesses intact, though they may be different. And I am very thankful for leaders like Cal Cunningham who listen to and care for North Carolina small businesses and I implore Congress to take swift action to help small businesses like mine that are trying to bring in revenue while still doing what’s best for the safety of our communities.”