Casten Outlines Priorities to be Included in the CARES 2 Stimulus Package

April 14, 2020
Press Release
Congressman advocates for additional resources for health care providers, increased availability of PPE, expansion of testing, funding for state and local governments and much more

Downers Grove, IL – Today U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them to include various priorities in the next stimulus relief package to help families and 6th District residents impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In the letter, Casten highlights the need for increased resources for our healthcare providers, personal protective equipment (PPE), expansion of testing, support for senior living facilities, immediate relief to our small businesses, additional resources to the United States Postal Service (USPS), as well as a push to transition to clean energy to provide support for our economy.

Casten said, “As Congress works to shape another stimulus package, I have heard from small businesses, healthcare providers, local mayors, and educators to ensure they receive the necessary resources during this uncertain time. First and foremost, we need additional funding for our hospitals and healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this global pandemic. We need to expand treatment facilities, buy much-needed personal protective equipment, and increase testing.

“Other priorities of mine include helping our small businesses, providing additional funds to state and local governments, support for our senior living facilities, and much-needed financial relief for the USPS who continue to deliver food and life-saving medications during this pandemic. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the needs of the 6th District are included in the next package.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Casten’s outlined priorities include:

  • Resources for Health Care Providers: expanding treatment facilities, buying much-needed personal protective equipment and necessary medical supplies, conducting more testing, training specialized workers, and increase workforce to respond to surging caseload. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment: consider every option to increase the production of PPE including mandating the administration to utilize its authority under 28 U.S.C Section 1498.
  • Expansion of Testing: tasking the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) with assessing the epidemiological risk of the spreading virus to formulate a plan with scientifically-based benchmarks to safely reopen our country and economy.  
  • Support for Long-Term Care and Senior Living Facilities: ensuring direct resources for staffing and cleaning equipment so residents are safe, and maintaining critical telecommunications capabilities.
  • Paycheck Protection Program: ensuring banks have the proper resources to quickly implement the PPP program. Additionally, ensuring that banks have proper assurances that their legal responsibilities to make loans are balanced with Congressional intent to get funds out to small business as quickly as possible, and expand the non-profits who are eligible for PPP loans.
  • Education: flexibility with delivering education to students with disabilities, increased funding to local educational agencies, both to address the present challenges of remote learning and to insulate them against impending state and local-level budget cuts as the economy contracts.
  • State and Local Governments: insisting on a truly fair, equal per-capita distribution of funds to all states, territories, and districts and ensuring that this correction is retroactive so that the fundamental principle of equal per-capita distribution of relief is applied to all programs in this and future coronavirus response packages. A repeal of the state and local tax (SALT) cap deduction
  • Transition to a Clean Energy Future: embrace lower cost, clean technologies in our future packages, especially those related to government-funded infrastructure investments. 
  • Voting Rights: put robust funding into vote-by-mail programs and, to the greatest extent allowed by the Constitution, encourage states to adopt fair and democratic vote-by-mail systems.
  • Resources for the United States Postal Service: provide direct funding to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and eliminate the prefunding retirement mandate.

Casten’s priorities are based on what he has heard directly from his constituents. Casten has held three small business webinars with the Illinois U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to hear directly from local small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID19, three telephone town halls, including one with AARP to hear directly from seniors, and various Facebook Live town halls.