ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Members of Congress from across New York State joined Nexstar news stations for a town hall to answer viewers questions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
A bill recently passed unanimously by Congress boosts funding for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.
Representative Paul Tonko, from the 20th NY district, said he’s heard from many small businesses that had a hard time getting funding. Tonko said $60 billion has been set aside in this relief package for small business networks.
Representative Anthony Brindisi from NY’s 22nd district expressed concerns about the last round of funding as well. He said he’d like to see more restrictions in place to make sure funding goes where it is needed. Many towns in his district are under 500,000 in population, which were not eligible for funding in the first round. Something Brindisi said he is advocating to change.
The representative of the 21st district, Elise Stefanik, said the money will also be used for testing, specifically ramping up testing capacity, purchasing, manufacturing and lab capacity. This funding would include antibody testing as well.
Reopening New York State
24th Congressional District Representative John Katko applauded President Trump for creating a bipartisan task force and asking for Upstate New York’s input. Katko said he has two concerns in regards to reopening: in the short term, his concern is the great need for testing during the reopening and in the long term how to jumpstart the economy and bring jobs back from overseas. He’s proposed tax breaks for infrastructure, manufacturing, and call centers to bring those areas back to the United States.
Bordering Canada, Stefanik’s congressional region also has concerns with a restart. She said an emphasis on the need for cross-border collaboration that may need to be done at the federal level.
To watch the full town hall, click the player below:
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