Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (15th District of Texas)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to include stimulus payments in the next COVID-19 aid package. As it stands, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he is not in favor of this proposal.

The Congressman in the letter writes:

“As you continue to negotiate a coronavirus relief package, I write to you today on behalf of the constituents in the 15th District of Texas and urge you to include a direct stimulus payment for those suffering from the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Millions of Americans are without a job, others are struggling to pay their bills, put food on the table or buy prescription drugs. We owe it to them to come together and pass another round of Economic Impact Payments.”

In his letter, the Congressman cites startling statistics that Hidalgo County represents only 3% of the state of Texas, but accounts for approximately 10% of COVID-related deaths. Additionally, the entire Rio Grande Valley, comprised of Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy counties, represents 4.75% of the state population and approximately 17% of COVID-related deaths in Texas.

The Washington Post recently reported that nearly 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities by January. Last month, 9 million renters said they were behind on rent, according to a Census Bureau survey.

The letter is available here and below:
 

December 11, 2020  

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell   

Majority Leader   

United States Senate   

U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-230   

Washington, DC 20510  

The Honorable Chuck Schumer   

Minority Leader   

United States Senate   

U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-224   

Washington, DC 20510  

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi  

Speaker of the House  

United States House of Representatives  

U.S. Capitol Building   

Washington, DC 20515  

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy  

Minority Leader  

United States House of Representatives  

U.S. Capitol Building  

Washington, DC 20515  

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer:  

As you continue to negotiate a coronavirus relief package, I write to you today on behalf of the constituents in the 15th District of Texas and urge you to include a direct stimulus payment for those suffering from the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Millions of Americans are without a job, others are struggling to pay their bills, put food on the table or buy prescription drugs. We owe it to them to come together and pass another round of Economic Impact Payments. 

The future of our country may depend on your choices in the coming days. There is no need for additional evidentiary support for the dire circumstances many Americans find themselves in. Hardworking Americans who were once gainfully employed now, through no fault of their own, are facing eviction, and have lost their sources of income due to the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 15th District of Texas is home to Americans, Republican and Democrat both, who need not suffer while we work to resolve our policy differences. Let us not overlook these families who are in need. Since April 2020, Hidalgo County, the southernmost county in the 15th Congressional District of Texas, has lost 2,030 residents to COVID-19. The population of Hidalgo County represents only 3% of the state of Texas, but accounts for approximately 10% of COVID-related deaths. The entire Rio Grande Valley, comprised of Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy counties, represents 4.75% of the state population and approximately 17% of COVID-related deaths in Texas. Experts continue working to fully understand the factors that make South Texans so uniquely susceptible to the novel coronavirus. However, we can infer several factors including: high rates of comorbidities, poverty, uninsured patients, and multigenerational housing.   

The Rio Grande Valley has increased rates of chronic illnesses known to increase the severity of a COVID-19 case such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Unlike demographically similar regions such as San Antonio, Texas or El Paso, Texas, Rio Grande Valley residents are less likely to have health insurance; the uninsured rate in Texas is 17%, while the uninsured rate in the Rio Grande Valley is 32% – almost double the rate of the entire state. Additionally, South Texans also experience poverty at more than twice the rate of Texans, 30% as compared to 13% statewide.  

The district I represent is comprised of a majority Hispanic population, one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Today, more than ever, America and its people need you. Please do the right thing and provide a direct stimulus payment to all who need one.   

/s/

###

MIL OSI USA News