COLUMBUS, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s (R-OH) daily press briefing to give an update on his work in Washington to keep Ohioans healthy and safe and to discuss the stimulus package passed by Congress this week. In the package, Brown fought to put assistance directly in the pockets of workers, expand Unemployment Insurance, provide the resources and personal protective equipment (PPE) our frontline health care workers need and more. Brown continues pushing for additional action from Congress and will continue work with colleagues in Congress and in the state to get Ohio the resources it needs during the pandemic.
“We know our country has the workers and the expertise to fight this pandemic, if we all come together. I look forward to working with Gov. DeWine, Sen. Portman and others as we all continue our efforts to ensure Ohio has the resources it needs to keep Ohioans healthy and safe,” said Brown.
Read more about the stimulus package passed by Congress this week and Brown’s work to keep Ohioans healthy and safe HERE.
Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery can be found below:
Thanks to Gov. DeWine for asking me to join today’s briefing and for your strong leadership during this crisis. The Governor and I have spoken several times a week during this pandemic, and I know we share the same goal of doing everything we can to keep Ohioans healthy and safe.
Thanks also to Dr. Amy Acton, who has received well-deserved praise across the country for her medical expertise and her ability to explain why the steps our state is taking now are so important in flattening the curve.
The Administration wasted precious time and put us behind in fighting this, but Ohio has been a model for the country, and the actions Dr. Acton and Gov. DeWine have taken during this pandemic will save lives.
I appreciate that Governor DeWine has been clear: the most important thing we can do for the economy right now is to get this pandemic under control.
You can’t separate out the economy from the people in it.
In Congress, my most important priority right now is getting resources quickly to the Ohioans who need help. The stimulus package we passed this week does that.
A couple of the most important things this package does – it:
- Puts money directly in people’s pockets – up to $1,200 per person
- Gets resources to our hospitals and health care workers immediately
- Dramatically expands Unemployment Benefits – people will get $600 more a week, and people who are self-employed, work part-time, or are contract workers will also be able to get UI
- Gets emergency funding to the state of Ohio, and to cities and counties whose budgets are hurting
- Puts a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures so people can stay in their homes, and allows people to delay mortgage payments, called mortgage forbearance.
I will do everything I can to make sure that we get all these resources to the people and communities who need them now – and to make sure money actually ends up in the pockets of workers.
We negotiated all weekend and while it isn’t perfect, the work we did over a couple of days made this a better deal for workers, for families, for communities.
We also know we have a lot more work to do – this crisis is different from anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. It’s going to take a sustained response over many months to make sure people can get back on their feet.
We still need to:
- Make sure people don’t take an unfair hit to their credit reports during this crisis.
- Help people with their student loan debt.
- Support our American manufacturers in their efforts to ramp up medical equipment production.
For weeks I’ve called on the President to immediately use his full authority under the Defense Production Act – his narrow announcement about GM yesterday does not go nearly far enough, and doesn’t do anything to release funding for manufacturers across the country to help them swiftly scale up production of ventilators, testing kits, PPE, and other key medical supplies.
A week ago, after talking with Ohio manufacturers, I put out a plan outlining steps the Administration needs to take now to get our hospitals the supplies they need to save lives. The DPA is part of that – so are purchase guarantees, delivery assistance, a national database, and putting one person in charge to coordinate all of this. We need a massive, coordinated effort between the public and private sector.
Ohio has a proud industrial tradition, and by taking advantage of Ohio’s strong supply chain, we can help bring our health care workers the supplies they need.
We know our country has the workers, the expertise, and the resources to fight this pandemic, if we all come together.
I look forward to working with Gov. DeWine, Sen. Portman and others as we all continue our efforts to ensure Ohio has the resources it needs to combat this pandemic.
Thank you again to Gov. DeWine and Dr. Acton and their staffs for the work they are doing to keep Ohio safe. I want to also thank the Ohio National Guard who are working to get food to Ohioans in need.
Thank you also to the frontline healthcare workers, the grocery store workers, the truck drivers, the nursing home staff, first responders and other Ohioans who are showing up to work during this crisis to provide essential services to the rest of us.
And thank you to the media covering these briefings every day to make sure Ohioans remain informed during this difficult and confusing time.
I’ll stop there and turn things back over to Gov. DeWine.