Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 05.17.20

82 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

This is a 100% volunteer effort brought to you by a handful of progressive Democrats and Independents who share a vision of an informed electorate.  We want to offer a big thank you to Pennsylvania Statewide Indivisible and Demcast organizations who host our report and help us share it out to the residents of our Commonwealth!

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

The lower the number, the more the legislator votes in opposition to the Trump agenda.

Member of CongressThis week’s scoreChange from last report
Senator Bob Casey (D)29.8%0.0%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)87.9%0.0%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)64.5%0.0%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)13.3%0.0%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)12.2%0.0%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)4.2%0.0%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)6.7%0.0%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)5.6%0.0%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)8.0%0.0%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)20.4%0.0%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)98.6%0.0%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)89.7%0.0%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.7%0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)95.2%0.0%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)98.6%0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)95.7%0.0%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)98.2%0.0%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)96.4%0.0%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)23.7%0.0%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)15.2%0.0%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any bills where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of the legislator to that opinion. FiveThirtyEight has (still) not scored votes since late March.

Want to see exactly what votes went into giving your MoC the numbers above?  Click on the name of any legislator and you will be brought to their 538 webpage, where all of the positions that went into the index are listed in an easy-to-read format.

Votes of Interest  

The House Passes the HEROES Act, a starting point for Phase Four Negotiations 

House Vote on H.R. 6800: HEROES (Health & Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act

The negotiations that resulted in the first three coronavirus response packages were held entirely behind closed doors, with the final legislative product having been hammered out and agreed to before the packages were made public.  This enabled each of those votes to receive bipartisan support. But there were major recovery aspects left out to those bills, most notably funding for municipalities and states.  

With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laying out his baseline negotiating position for the phase four response by stating that he favors making states and municipalities declare bankruptcy, the Democratic leadership decided the best way to respond was by making their negotiating starting point an expansive, progressive legislative package of their own – the HEROES Act.  No one expects this bill to pass the Senate – this is simply a marker, laying out all of the programs that the Democrats would like to include if they were in control.

The HEROES Act is over 1,800 pages long, and has over $3 trillion in funding and programs.  It includes:

  • $500 billion in direct assistance to state governments
  • $20 billion to tribal governments
  • $20 billion to U.S. territories
  • $375 billion to local governments
  • $200 billion earmarked for hazard pay for essential workers
  • An extension of the $600-per-week boost in Unemployment Compensation through 2020
  • $75 billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing
  • Student debt forgiveness of up to $10,000 in debt relief per individual
  • Protection from eviction and foreclosure for renters and homeowners ($175 billion in funding for programs to effectuate that goal)
  • $66 billion for farmers, farmers markets and local food outlets
  • Another $1,200 payment to individuals (up to $6,000 per household)
  • $25 billion in assistance to the Postal Service
  • $3.6 billion in election security grants to states
  • A 15% increase to the maximum SNAP benefit to address rising food prices
  • A revamping of the new employee retention tax credit to encourage employers to keep employees on payroll
  • Subsidies for COBRA, to help people who lose their jobs pay for the increased cost of maintaining their health coverage
  • New OSHA rules for creating safe work spaces and employee testing programs, as well as rules to protect workers who report coronavirus related workplace-safety issues

Vote date: Friday, May 15, 2020 Vote Tally: 208-199

Party Breakdown: One Republican, Peter King of New York, joined the majority of the Democrats in voting YES.  Fourteen Democrats, including 🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild and 🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb voted NO along with most Republicans and Independent Justin Amash. Some Democratic objections to the HEROES Act (like those of Pennsylvania’s own Reps. Wild and Lamb) were more about procedure than content, with many lawmakers wanting to be able to vote on a bipartisan final product. Other Democrats, like Washington’s Rep. Pramila Jayapal, felt that this bill just did not go far enough to help struggling families.

Additional Reading:

NoRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
NoDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House Allows Voting by Proxy

House Vote on H.Res. 965: Authorizing remote voting by proxy in the House of Representatives and providing for official remote committee proceedings during a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus

The House approved a measure that allows individual Members of Congress to place votes on behalf of up to ten colleagues who stay home, in an attempt to create an environment more conducive to social distancing in the House chamber.  There was an attempt to vote on this rules change last month, but Speaker Pelosi withdrew that bill in an attempt to get bipartisan support.  As that GOP agreement was not forthcoming, the measure was re-introduced and passed by a thin margin.

Anyone who has watched C-SPAN or other video of votes knows just how crowded the House floor gets, and how it does not conform to the standard of our new COVID reality.  But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was adamant that no changes be made, and stated, per NPR, “We can continue to work in a safe and effective manner without overturning 230 years of constitutional and legislative tradition.”

The text of the passed resolution makes clear that this proxy voting plan is not permanent, but to be used  when “a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus is in effect.”  Additionally, it outlines how ballot cards may be used (instead of having everyone touch the same electronic voting mechanism), and implements a study on remote voting.

Vote date: Friday, May 15, 2020 Vote Tally: 217-189

Party Breakdown:  All the Republicans and Independent Justin Amash voted NO.  They were joined by three Democrats – Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, Elaine Luria of Virginia and Rick Larsen of Washington

Additional Reading:

NoRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The Senate Renews Controversial Patriot Act Provisions

Senate Vote on H.R. 6172: USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020

NPR ably recaps this measure, so we will refer to their article on this reauthorization of portions of the Patriot Act:

Members of Congress wrote expiration dates into surveillance laws so that action would be required to sustain them over time.

When the clock ran out in March on one part of FISA, so did authorities’ ability to use elements including the so-called “business records,” “lone wolf” and “roving wiretap” provisions in counterterrorism or espionage investigations.

The bill passed by the Senate on Thursday would restore those powers, albeit with new restrictions backed by a coalition of civil libertarian Republicans and Democrats.

Senators also added reforms inspired by the revelations about problems discovered with the use of FISA during the Russia investigation. One increases the penalties that a federal official could suffer for providing false information to the secret court that oversees surveillance.

Vote date: Thursday, May 14, 2020 Vote Tally: 80-16

Party Breakdown: FISA/Patriot Act/surveillance related votes often provoke interesting breakdowns between the parties, and this was no different.  We have often seen breakdowns with up to ⅓ of each party breaking from their majority, but this appears to have been slightly less divisive after the new reforms were added to the bill text..  Only two Republicans – Rand Paul of Kentucky and Richard Burr of Virginia – voted NO.  The Democrats were closer to that typical ⅓-⅔ split, with 31 Democrats voting YES and 14 voting NO.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Bureaucratic Confirmation #1 – at DHS 

Senate Confirmation Vote on Troy Edgar to be Chief Financial Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Nearly a year after his nomination by the Trump Administration, Troy Edgar was confirmed to the top financial position within the Department of Homeland Security.  Mr. Edgar has served in both the private and public sector, in the Navy, as a mayor in a small California city, and as an executive at accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper, and at Boeing.

It was during his time as mayor of Los Alamitos that Mr. Edgar passed the Los Alamitos Anti-Sanctuary Ordinance 2018-3. This measure made it so that schools, hospitals, courthouses, and libraries would be places in the township where authorities could enforce immigration actions.  Typically, those areas are kept free from such actions.  This anti-sanctuary city/state action during his tenure accounts for the Democratic opposition to his nomination.

Vote date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Vote Tally: 62-31

Party Breakdown: All the Republicans voted YES, as did ten of the Democrats and the one Independent (Angus King of Maine) present. Thirty-one Democrats voted NO.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Bureaucratic Confirmation #2 – at HUD

Senate Confirmation Vote on Brian Montgomery to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Brian Montgomery is an experienced bureaucrat who has served in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under three administrations (George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump). He’s been serving as the number two at HUD in an acting role since January 2019, when his predecessor retired.  Prior to his time at HUD, he was a deputy assistant to the president under George W. Bush, and he served on the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 Oversight Board during the Great Recession.

Objections to Mr. Montgomery mostly revolved around his willingness to implement Trump Administration policies to undermine policies of equality in housing, and housing assistance.  During Mr. Montgomery’s confirmation hearing in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (where Pennsylvania’s own Sen. Pat Toomey is a member), Ranking Member Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made the following statement, which lays out the grounds for opposition to Mr. Montgomery’s confirmation:

HUD provides housing assistance to 4.7 million low-income families and supports homeless services across the country. It also enforces the Fair Housing Act, insures more than 8.1 million mortgages, and administers billions in assistance to communities hit by natural disasters… But President Trump’s administration doesn’t seem to understand that.

…HUD wants to undermine the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act based on disparate impact, and to weaken protections for transgender individuals’ who need shelter.

Last week, HUD promoted a political appointee with a history of racist and sexist writings to the second highest position at Ginnie Mae, which guarantees $2.1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities.

And just a few months ago, HUD proposed changes to the FHA program that could make it harder for millions of families to afford to buy a home.  

Each of these actions is deeply troubling on its own. Taken together, it’s pretty clear that not only is President Trump’s administration not doing anything to help families afford a home, but that they’re actively making it harder.

Both [another nominee to a different position] and Mr. Montgomery have played a role in some of these policies and decisions…

Vote date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Vote Tally: 61-32

Party Breakdown:  All the Republicans voted YES. They were joined by nine of the Democrats and the one Independent (Angus King of Maine) present. Thirty-two Democrats voted NO.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Unanimously passed legislation

The following bills were passed through unanimous consent or voice vote (which presumes unanimity, as any member can object to the voice vote and ask for a roll call). This list excludes bills related to post offices, stamps, memorials, awareness weeks and other ceremonial activities.

  • S.2746 – Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act
  • S.3434 – COPS “Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support” Counseling Act
  • S.3607 – Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act
  • S.3744 – Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act
  • H.R.943 – Never Again Education Act
  • S.2661 – National Suicide Hotline Designation Act 
  • S.249 – A bill to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization

Our Representatives Comment on the HEROES Act:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the only member of the Pennsylvania House delegation to provide no official website statement, Facebook post or tweet about the HEROES Act as of late Saturday, May 16, 2020.  He did not make a floor speech about the bill, either.  He did offer this vague tweet on 05/14/20 that could be in reference to the then-upcoming vote:

“Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment since this pandemic began. Job losses mean not only loss of a paycheck but also loss of health coverage and other employer-provided benefits. 

@AFLCIO @CWAUnion@unitehere @transportworker

Additional aid must be tied to retaining jobs, pay, and benefits for workers. We must ensure that federal aid to businesses ultimately ends up in workers’ pockets and supporting paychecks. 

@AFTunion @NEAToday @GoIUPAT @MachinistsUnion @afa_cwa”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Boyle Statement on Passage of the HEROES Act – “Congress must lead and cannot hesitate to act when so many families in our communities are struggling. This legislation is not perfect, but, it will provide immediate relief through additional direct payments. State and local governments will get a life preserver here too, including an estimated $4,101,716,185 to Philadelphia in urgently needed funds to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss. We in Congress have a responsibility to do what is necessary now to protect the health and well-being of all, especially those who are on the front lines of this crisis.”

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Evans Will Vote for Sweeping Covid-19 Relief Bill, the Heroes Act – “We need an urgent federal response that is equal to the crisis we face. Unemployment and food-bank lines have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. We can spend some money now or spend a lot more later. I choose confronting the problem head-on and dealing with it. Of course debt matters, but we’ll be in a lot more debt if we fail to act. I urge the Senate to hear the Americans crying out for urgent help and join us in passing this bill.”

“Even the nonpartisan chairman of the Federal Reserve – appointed by President Trump – is basically begging Congress to act on more sweeping relief like the Heroes Act! He said, ‘The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II.’”

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 05/15/20:

“The #HeroesAct will lift up Pennsylvania’s struggling state and municipal governments — with a focus on giving needed support to our front-line workers, health care workers, grocery store workers, postal workers, children, and families as we continue to manage this pandemic.”

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 05/15/20:

“Our country is in crisis and the #HeroesAct puts people first. This legislation will provide much needed relief to Pennsylvania families — and all Americans — as we continue to navigate this pandemic together.” 

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, from her official website, 05/15/20:

“Houlahan Passes Heroes Act – “Today, I voted to pass the Heroes Act through the House of Representatives. The Senate has shown no sense of urgency to move forward on additional relief for Americans struggling with the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, and this bill serves as a starting point for those negotiations. We need the American people to help build pressure on Senator McConnell and his colleagues to come to the table with us to craft a bill that can pass both chambers and be signed into law. The virus has not abated in our communities, and we need a national strategy to safely reopen our economy.

“This bill includes a wide range of priorities important to my community and several bills that I was proud to help lead:

*I led the effort to ensure that the 50,000 seniors on Medicare Advantage in Chester and Berks counties won’t see higher costs due to COVID-19.

*I helped craft amendments to the Defense Production Act after hearing from members of our community that had shipments of PPE diverted by the Federal government at the last minute. I ensured this bill includes a requirement for the Federal government to notify and work with state and local governments to replace any shipment of critical medical supplies that is diverted.

*The bill includes $500 billion for state and $375 billion for local governments, helping to replace lost revenue and make them whole for money spent on COVID-19 response. This has been a major priority for Governor Wolf and the leadership of Chester and Berks counties.

*The small business section includes many items that I advocated for after hearing from small business owners in my community: a carve out for micro-businesses, greater flexibility for PPP forgiveness and better transparency and reporting.

*The bill requires the CDC to develop a comprehensive, national strategy to provide diagnostic and serologic testing, contact tracing, and recovery. This will better enable our communities to safely reopen and get back to work without risking another wave of infections.

“Beyond these things, the bill includes funding for hazard pay and childcare for our frontline workers, expansion of high speed internet to help our families working and studying virtually, assistance for our dairy and specialty crop producers who are struggling, funding for safe and secure elections, support to the U.S. Postal Service and much more.

“While there is a lot of good in this bill, I cast my vote knowing that it is imperfect. For example, it authorizes another round of economic stimulus payments knowing full well that the IRS rollout of the first round has been rocky and frustrating for millions of Americans still wondering when their first payment will arrive. I am disappointed that the bill does not include any role for national service volunteers, like AmeriCorps, to play a greater role in the recovery. The bill also includes worthy priorities that are not necessarily relevant to the crisis at hand. Finally, I am concerned about the cost. As a former business leader, I know that sometimes you have to invest on the front end to achieve an outcome later. We will likely need much, much more relief as this crisis continues and even when we begin to recover, but we must also be mindful of the long-term costs.”

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, from her official website, 05/15/20:

“From the beginning of this crisis, I have worked with my colleagues—Democrats and Republicans alike—to provide vital funding for hospitals and frontline workers, increase small business loans, and deliver direct economic relief to millions of hardworking Americans. I am proud of the bipartisan support these measures received. The HEROES Act, however, appears to lack that same expansive bipartisan support of past Coronavirus relief packages.

“Moreover, I am concerned about supporting a $3 trillion bill that in my view does not do enough to provide direct and immediate assistance to struggling families and that will almost surely not proceed to a vote in the Senate or to any realistic negotiations with our colleagues across the aisle. And, after consulting with workers and labor leaders across my community, I am alarmed by provisions in this legislation that could result in cuts to pensions and benefits that workers have earned.  Now is the time to bring our nation together around solutions that will improve the lives of Americans who are hurting, not engage in partisan gamesmanship, and that’s why I will vote against this legislation.

“Make no mistake—we in Washington have enormous work left to do—and that is why I also intend to vote to allow proxy voting for the remainder of this pandemic so that the House of Representatives can continue to safely do its job while adhering to CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.

“In the coming days and weeks, I will be working as hard as I can to provide crucial financial support for state and local governments, robust funding for health care facilities and providers, and direct assistance to Americans in need. I look forward to working with anyone—Democrat or Republican—to advance these practical solutions to the very serious crisis facing our nation.”

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, from his official website, 05/12/20:

“Key Provisions from Cartwright Hazard Pay Bill Included in New House-Led Coronavirus Response Package – “The doctors and nurses treating patients, the workers producing our food, and the people delivering our packages are the ones getting us through this crisis, but they’re doing these jobs at great risk to themselves and their families. In the Heroes Act, we are finally taking a meaningful step toward paying these brave workers what they deserve for fighting on the front lines of this war.”

“This is desperately needed federal funding for our state and local governments to support our police, firefighters, teachers and other first responders. We don’t want our state or local governments to go bankrupt. There’s too much at stake for the health of our communities and the livelihoods of our frontline public service workers.”

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 05/16/20:

“Last night, I voted against Speaker Pelosi’s partisan wish list. Please see below for my speech from the House floor.”

Rep. Meuser shared that tweet with video of his speech.  This transcription provided by C-SPAN:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, a Facebook post shared to his official website, 05/15/20:

“Congress has dedicated $3 trillion in response to COVID-19; much of it, including millions in Pennsylvania, has yet to be spent. The bill we should be voting on today is one that fixes the failed policies that are preventing assistance from getting to our suffering constituents – not one that fulfills a liberal wish list.” shared with video of his floor speech

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Smucker Opposes Pelosi’s Wish List – “We don’t need Speaker Pelosi’s three trillion-dollar progressive wish list. Particularly one that includes additional dollars that Gov. Tom Wolf can use to hold hostage Pennsylvania’s counties and small businesses.

We can continue to fight this virus and protect those at highest risks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, while also gradually opening businesses that can follow CDC and social distancing guidelines. The best way to support the hardworking people of my Congressional District is to allow them to safely return back to work.

Beyond the $150 billion in direct funding to states included in the CARES Act, where Pennsylvania received nearly $5 billion, over $600 billion in additional funding has already flowed to benefit states and municipalities. We need to use existing funds as efficiently as possible, not write blank checks to states for funds to be wasted. 

I have called on Gov. Wolf to push out existing funds to all of our counties that didn’t already receive them and have asked the Treasury Department for maximum flexibility on how these funds may be spent. We need Gov. Wolf to communicate how he intends to distribute the funds Pennsylvania has already been allocated before considering any additional funds for state governments.”

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Congressman Fred Keller votes against Speaker Pelosi’s $3 trillion socialist wish list – “This legislation is an absolute non-starter. During my time in Harrisburg and in Congress, I have never seen such a partisan piece of legislation actually receive a vote. Far from addressing the very real and serious impacts of COVID-19, this legislation is simply a giveaway to liberal special interests.

“With this sham piece of partisan legislation, Speaker Pelosi wants to increase government dependence and thereby increase government control. I firmly believe the best thing we can do to recover from this invisible enemy is not cower in fear but come together as a nation and find ways to return safely to work and restart the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.”

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Dr. Joyce Statement on Democrats’ Dead-End Wish List – “As Americans are suffering from the health and economic ramifications of coronavirus, Democrats are focused on funding Planned Parenthood and mollifying their progressive base. This anti-work, anti-growth legislation, which has zero chance of becoming law, is a disservice to the American families trying to make it through this crisis. Today Speaker Pelosi’s House of Representatives squandered valuable time debating a dead-end wish list when we could have been working on delivering constructive, realistic solutions. We cannot allow a virus to destroy the American dream. To win this war, we must lay aside political poison pills and work together. A pandemic is no time for politics.”

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Reschenthaler Opposes Pelosi’s Socialist Wish List – “Today, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats brought a 1,800-page socialist wish list to the House floor instead of working across the aisle to provide COVID-19 relief to struggling Americans. The HEROES Act, written behind closed doors without any input from Congressional Republicans or the White House, is the most expensive bill to ever pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Several of the bill’s provisions have nothing to do with COVID-19 and were drafted prior to the outbreak, including language to federalize elections, bail out mismanaged pension plans, and provide tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. House Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to use a national crisis to jam through their socialist, left-wing agenda in a bill that mentions the word ‘cannabis’ more than it does ‘job.’ In contrast, Republicans continue to focus on combatting the coronavirus and reopening our nation by incentivizing rehiring, removing regulatory barriers that hinder job creation, and protecting small businesses from frivolous lawsuits.”

“It is time for House Democrats to put politics aside and work with us on a proposal that will provide relief to the millions of Americans who are struggling to put food on the table. Let’s get back to work to defeat this virus, reopen America, and reignite our economy.”

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Thompson Issues Statement on Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act – “On four occasions, the House has come together in a bipartisan manner to pass nearly $2.5 trillion in spending to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges state shut downs have caused hard working American families. Unfortunately, the so-called ‘HEROES Act,’ is less of a relief package and more of a partisan wish list drafted by Speaker Pelosi in secret. The bill is so removed from reality that numbers of Democrats have come out in opposition. While I have voted in good-faith to support previous legislation to address the pandemic, this bill is saturated with a longstanding partisan and ideological wish list that has nothing to do with defeating COVID-19 and getting America back to work.”

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Kelly Votes Against Pelosi’s ‘Stimulus’ Bill Filled with Progressive Pet Projects – So far, the legislative response to the coronavirus has been largely bipartisan. At this stage, however, Speaker Pelosi has decided that political posturing is more important than helping Americans get through this pandemic and the economic devastation it has caused. The three trillion dollar so-called stimulus bill she introduced is little more than a progressive wish list of policies that will never become law. Democrats should come to the table and work with Republicans and President Trump on next steps instead of abusing this crisis to ram through their radical agenda.”

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Lamb Statement on H.R. 6800 – People in western Pennsylvania and all over the country have sacrificed a lot during this crisis.  They expect us to put politics aside, work together, and focus on defeating the coronavirus.  This bill is not focused, it was rushed to a vote too fast, and it doesn’t help us accomplish that core mission.

“We need bipartisan action to get people the money they need to survive while we defeat this virus, and we need to make sure the money is spent effectively.  We have bipartisan support for funding our state and local governments as they perform more testing, plan to reopen schools, and protect the most vulnerable, including residents of our nursing homes.  We have bipartisan support for helping the unemployed, underemployed, and underpaid with direct payments.

“So let’s fight this battle together on common ground.  Let’s pass a bill focused on those priorities.  Let’s give the American people confidence that while they sacrifice, we are spending their tax dollars on the essentials and making constant progress against the virus.

“More than 85,000 of our fellow Americans are dead.  More than 30 million have lost their jobs.  Partisan fights have never looked smaller.  We need to go back to the negotiating table immediately and work on a bill that can actually pass and will actually help the people who desperately need it.”

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, from his official website, 05/15/20:

“Doyle Support the HEROES Act – The Heroes Act is the response America needs now to address the economic impact of the coronavirus. “I voted for the Heroes Act because I believe this bill will provide much-needed support to those who need it while we strive to return to a more normal life. I believe that we’d end up paying more in the long run – in money, in jobs, and in lives – if we don’t address this pandemic with an effective response up front.”

“I don’t think we can do enough to thank and support our frontline workers, but the Heroes Act is a good start. Our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, teachers, and other essential workers have been tackling the challenges of COVID-19 head-on. They have been selflessly protecting and serving our communities at the risk of their own health. And now, many of these heroes could be at risk of losing their jobs as state budgets plunge further into the red. This bill provides funding to state and local governments when they desperately need it – and it establishes a Heroes’ fund to provide hazard pay for our essential workers.”

“More than 30 million workers are unemployed, and many families are struggling to make ends meet. This bill does right by working families, putting additional direct payments in their pockets, extending the $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits into next year, creating a special enrollment period to help those who lost their health insurance when they lost their job access affordable healthcare, assisting renters and homeowners with their housing payments, and helping many to put more food on the table with bigger SNAP benefits.”

“The Heroes Act would strengthen the Payroll Protection Program that has helped many small businesses in Pittsburgh, and it would make it available to help nonprofits of all sizes. It  would also provide additional funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which has more qualified applicants than it can help at this point.”

“I know many workers and businesses are itching to return to their normal lives, but any efforts to reopen must be accompanied by adequate testing, tracing, and treatment. The Heroes Act would provide much-needed additional funding for testing, tracing, and treatment so we can safely reopen our economy.”

“Finally, I’m pleased that the Heroes Act contains provisions that I have fought long and hard for – such as those that would close the digital divide, protect the right to vote, help individuals with disabilities, and protect workers’ rights.”

“I support the Heroes Act because I believe it meets the urgency of this moment and lays the groundwork for what we want to come.”

Twitter Action – the President visits Pennsylvania

PA-12’s Rep. Keller, PA-09’s Rep. Meuser, President Trump, PA-01’s Rep. Fitzpatrick and PA-10’s Rep. Perry

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 05/14/20:

“Welcome to Pennsylvania, Mr. President. I hope you wore a mask while you were here.

And since you visited, in a blatant attempt to rewrite your disastrous response to the #COVID19 pandemic, let me be clear: between downplaying the outbreak and failing to meet the needs of the health care system, you’ve failed Pennsylvania and people across the country.

We need tests. We need PPE. And we need you to #ProtectOurCare and #DropTheLawsuit to rip coverage from millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, which will only throw the health care system into chaos.

Further, decades of disinvestment in state & local governments has left us unable to do the basic things that many other countries are doing for their citizens during this pandemic. What we need is localities equipped to respond to the needs of the people, in good times & in bad.

The risks associated with coronavirus are particularly dangerous for older adults in Pennsylvania and nationwide, folks who rely on the programs you’re trying to decimate. In PA alone, according to 

@ProtectOurCare, nearly 5.3 million Pennsylvanians have a pre-existing condition, including 643,000 children. The protections the ACA provides for people with a pre-existing condition are as important as ever.

Mr. President, if you really want to show you care about the health of Pennsylvanians, then you’ll file a brief with SCOTUS supporting the ACA, establish a special enrollment period through and reverse your plans to cut Medicare and Medicaid.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 05/14/20:

“I’m glad @realDonaldTrump is visiting Owens & Minor today to highlight the great work of Pennsylvanians supplying the PPE needed to save lives, protect front-line workers, & the strong guidance his admin is providing on safely reopening our economy.”  shared with a link to an Allentown Morning Call article

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 05/14/20:

The Congressman simply shared a link to his official website statement about the Trump visit.  The text of that statement is as follows:

“Today, May 14th, 2020, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) met with President Trump in Allentown, PA, where they discussed Fitzpatrick’s three part legislative response to COVID-19 to ensure that we will never go through this again: The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, the Never Again Small Business Protection Act, and the Never Again International Outbreak Prevention Act.

Fitzpatrick urged President Trump to adopt all three pieces of this bipartisan legislative package and to hold China 100 percent accountable for all economic losses, as part of his COVID-19 response plan.”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 05/13/20:The Congressman shared content from CNN Newsroom that included a quote and video from an interview he did, along with this link –

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 05/15/20:

Rep. Evans retweeted content from his colleague, Rep. Katherine Clark “Another Trump press conference and still no national testing strategy. #TrumpHasNoPlan”

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 05/14/20:

“What do I think is behind the President’s visit to Pennsylvania today?  A thinly veiled campaign event that is unnecessarily putting people at risk… He could sincerely thank this manufacturing facility from afar and not put anybody at risk.” tweeted with video of her interview on MSNBC.

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 05/14/20:

“I am honored to welcome @realDonaldTrump to Pennsylvania today. His forward-thinking, inclusionary leadership is helping to keep America great. Pennsylvania needs realistic optimism and @realDonaldTrump is fighting to save lives and livelihoods!”

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 05/14/20:

“I’m honored to welcome President Trump to Pennsylvania today. @realDonaldTrump is helping PA win the fight against #COVID19 with leadership and action – providing huge shipments of PPE, testing kits, and critical supplies. We can defeat COVID-19 and protect our freedoms.”

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 05/14/20:

“Glad to have @POTUS back in PA to visit with workers at Owens & Minor in Allentown! Thank you for your and @VP Mike Pence’s leadership and federal support of our Commonwealth!

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 05/14/20:

“President @realDonaldTrump is standing with the people of Pennsylvania that want to get back to work…he’s here to recognize the great work that is happening and to show that we can get back to work safely, but we can get back to work. More from my appearance on Newsmax” tweeted with embedded video

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 05/14/20:

“Great to have @realDonaldTrump back in our Commonwealth supporting hardworking Pennsylvanians on the front line. Thank you for your leadership, Mr. President!”

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 05/14/20:

“Thank you @realDonaldTrump for fighting for Pennsylvania! It’s a privilege to have you in the Commonwealth again today!”

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 05/14/20:

“We are excited to welcome @POTUS @realDonaldTrump to the Commonwealth today, & thankful for his support during the COVID-19 pandemic. PA has received:

✅$300+ million for testing

✅$21.4 billion in SBA loans

✅2.6 million N-95 masks

..and so much more from this administration.”

Tweet of the Week

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 05/16/20:

“Now more than ever, we must make our health a priority. As we close out National Women’s Health Week, remember to practice compassion toward yourself and take time for your physical, mental and emotional health. For tips on how to do so: @womenshealth #nwhw

This pandemic disproportionately impacts women & girls, deepening pre-existing inequalities and exposing vulnerabilities in social, political & economic systems. This #NationalWomensHealthWeek reminds us that #COVID19 recovery efforts must account for these gender discrepancies.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 05/13/20:

“During these difficult times, there are so many people to be thankful for. This week I’m particularly grateful for the police officers who are donning their uniform & serving our communities. I’m proud to be cosponsoring a resolution making this #PoliceWeek.”

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 05/16/20:

“Congrats to Bucks County’s own @RepPolinchock for building a broad bipartisan coalition in advancing his bill, H.B. 2412. This is an example of how we can both protect public safety and safely engage in economic activity. We can and must accomplish both.”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 05/15/20:

“Demand at food banks is Upwards arrow 70%, but President Trump’s USDA still wants to cut SNAP in the midst of a pandemic while people suffer.” tweeted with a link to a CBS News article titled “Trump administration still wants to cut food stamps

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 05/14/20:

“The GROCER Act will support food supply workers | Opinion” tweeted with a link to an opinion piece from his co-sponsor, PA-15’s Glenn Thompson, in the Philadelphia Inquirer of the same name

A key quote from that piece – “The GROCER Act is modeled on hazard pay benefits received by brave men and women serving in the armed forces while deployed overseas. When it comes to the COVID-19 battle, grocery and convenience store workers have found themselves on the front lines. These essential employees leave their families each day, risking exposure to the virus in order to ensure our families and communities have access to the food and resources we need. Without these workers, millions of Americans would struggle to access basic necessities….The GROCER Act isn’t just a way to financially support these essential workers through the pandemic. It’s also a way to boost morale—a way to recognize life-essential employees for their resilience during these challenging times. As Congress continues to debate the best way to continue with a national response, we should pass the GROCER Act to show our collective gratitude for these unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 05/12/20:

“We would all like to reopen, but the science is clear: we are not ready. 

To ensure individuals & small businesses can make ends meet, we must quickly provide relief. 

I’m working to get funds to American workers, small businesses & student borrowers.”

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 05/15/20:

“The Census has never been more important and we need everyone to #BeCounted. I’m going LIVE with @JohnFetterman, @giselefetterman, @RepDwightEvans, and more special guests on 5/21 @ 11AM because everybody counts! Join us! #2020Census”

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 05/13/20:

“ICYMI (I don’t blame you, 11PM is even late for me these days), here’s my conversation with 

@Lawrence. We discussed my new bipartisan bill to establish a new branch of #nationalservice–a National Public Health Corps–to meet this moment and help our country through #COVID19.” tweeted with video from her interview with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 05/14/20:

“Millions have lost their jobs & health care in this crisis. If this is you, visit for help. 

(By the way, you shouldn’t need to be laid off to be able to sign up on exchange during a PANDEMIC — we need an Emergency #COVID19 ACA Enrollment Period).”

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 05/12/20:

“So far, just 50% of #PA8 has responded to the #2020Census. There’s still time to complete it by mail, phone, or at! Don’t miss your chance to ensure NEPA receives critical funding for hospitals, schools and roads.”

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 05/12/20:

“Threats to withhold coronavirus funding from hardworking Pennsylvanians proves that states shouldn’t receive a blank check from the federal government. Congress intended for governors to have the flexibility to use the CARES funds to best serve their constituencies, NOT power grabs. Federal funds must not be used to threaten or instill fear. #SafelyOpenUp”  tweeted with a link to a Fox News article titled “Pennsylvania governor threatens to withhold coronavirus aid to counties that defy lockdown orders

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 05/13/20:

“I need to hear from you. As we continue our fight against COVID-19, what concerns you most? Should businesses be allowed to reopen with health and safety precautions – or is it too soon? Let me know what you think by taking PA-10’s COVID-19 Survey here:”

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 05/16/20:

“During this week’s round table with @SenToomey we heard directly from businesses who are struggling and who are ready and able to reopen safely. Read more about our round table below. While I am thankful York County will begin reopening some businesses next week, we know the economic damage is all too real across our community.” tweeted with a link to a York Dispatch article titled “GOP continues attacks on Wolf ahead of Friday reopening announcement

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 05/15/20:

“During my time in Harrisburg and in Congress, I have never seen such a partisan piece of legislation actually receive a vote. Far from addressing the very real and serious impacts of COVID-19, the “HEROES Act” is simply a giveaway to liberal special interests.”

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 05/16/20:

“There’s no question that we must hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its role in the #coronavirus pandemic.” This was the retweet text over content from House Minority Leader McCarthy’s tweet that read, “Pelosi said scrutinizing China is a “diversion.”

Let’s review:

1. China lied to the world about the virus

2. China leveraged its stockpile of PPE for political gain—at frontline workers’ expense

3. China is reportedly hacking American companies to undermine our search for a cure”

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 05/13/20:

“Heroes Act?  Maybe if your heroes are Mao, Che Guervera and Hugo Chavez.  Nice attempt at a socialist takeover of our elections & economy, @SpeakerPelosi.”

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 05/15/20:

“Food connects us. Bustling metropolises, towns with a single stop light, & every community in between require the same sustenance. My op-ed for @PhillyInquirer discussing the GROCER Act & the importance of our grocery/convenience store workers. #COVID19” tweeted with a link to his opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 05/12/20:

“I have been declared free of #COVID19 by doctors after testing negative for the virus & positive for antibodies last week. Thank you to everyone who prayed & sent well wishes for my recovery!”

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 05/12/20:

“We need to invest in infrastructure projects that will spur our economy & protect good paying jobs.  

@RepBobGibbs & I led 135 Members of Congress in calling for more transportation & infrastructure spending in the next #COVID relief package. #PA17” tweeted with a link to his website statement

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 05/16/20:

“.@realDonaldTrump continues to fire the independent Federal watchdogs appointed to protect our country’s interests. His firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick is deeply concerning.” tweeted with a link to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article titled “Democrats investigating Trump firing of State Dept. watchdog

Casey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk

“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented rise in unemployment and a subsequent increase in demand for food assistance. At the same time, social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders have made it challenging — and unsafe — for many individuals to travel to purchase food. This is especially true for seniors and immunocompromised individuals who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, as well as individuals with disabilities and families who lack reliable transportation. We believe that no individual or family should be disadvantaged simply because they rely on SNAP benefits to access the food they need.”  

— from a 05/15/20 article in the Philadelphia Sun titled “Casey leads bipartisan push to expand delivery for SNAP recipients during pandemic

“We can’t forget that some of the victims aren’t in the hospital with COVID-19, but in their homes cowering from the anger and rage of abusers from which they cannot escape. It is imperative that each of us look out for the most vulnerable among us, the children whose families have been shaken by the pandemic and who themselves are suffering at the hands of others because of it.”

— from a 05/15/20 article in titled “State officials warn of possible surge in unreported child abuse

“We all share the goal of re-opening our economy and getting people back to work as soon as we reasonably can. I support the approach outlined by Governor Wolf, which is based on safety and science and consistent with the guidance of leading public health experts. 

A rushed, premature re-opening would risk undoing the progress Pennsylvania has made in the last two months, and we can’t afford that. The fastest way to get our economy moving again, and get people back to work, is to defeat this virus”.

— from a 05/14/20 article on the Fox 43 website titled “Sen. Toomey, Rep. Smucker take GOP’s push to reopen Pa. digital

“Some Americans can safely stay home and practice social distancing, but our Nation’s coal miners are bravely going to work every day to continue powering our country. The bipartisan COVID-19 Mine Worker Protection Act would put in place enforceable workplace safety standards to protect miners from COVID-19 on the job and would make clear that miners cannot be retaliated against for reporting health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.” 

— from a 05/14/20 WVVA article titled “Manchin, Durbin, Kaine, Brown, Casey, Capito, Warner Introduce Bill To Protect Miners From Covid-19 Exposure

“I don’t think [another relief package being denied is] the response the American people want. I don’t think that’s the response that our workers deserve to just throw up your hands and say we’re done legislating because we passed several bills prior to this.” 

— from a 05/14/20 article on the WBRC 13 website titled “Proposal for essential workers to receive hazard pay from federal government” 

Toomey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker

Toomey said the “unprecedented and draconian step” to close the economy was to slow the spread of COVID-19 so as not to overwhelm hospital capacity.

“It was probably the right thing to do,” Toomey said.

But it’s been clear for the past several weeks, “we are not going to overwhelm the capacity of Pennsylvania hospitals. I’m not sure about the rest of the country. In Pennsylvania, we have got a lot of capacity to spare,” Toomey said. “That essential reason for the shutdown no longer exists.”

“Some of those businesses will fail and they will never be able to come back. Those are livelihoods that are going to be really badly setback for who knows how long,” the senator said. “It’s been my view for sometime now that Pennsylvania is ready to reopen…I think it’s time to move this along.”

“It’s my hope we will be able to accelerate this process.”

— an excerpt from the Lehigh Valley Live article from 05/15/20 titled “Pa. should accelerate reopening businesses, Sen. Pat Toomey says

“We really should be moving ahead most everywhere in the state.. .there’s no question in my mind that many businesses can and should be able to be open. By all means, Lehigh and Northampton counties should be well along the reopening process,” 

— from a 05/15/20  Allentown Morning Call  article titled “Pat Toomey rips Wolf administration, says Lehigh Valley, other areas should be allowed to begin reopening

“Well, in my opinion Maria, it’s the most important thing is to remember why we shut it down in the first place. It was a very clear, well articulated reason that we took the unprecedented and draconian step of saying that you can’t earn a living. And that was to prevent the disease from spreading so rapidly that so many people would get sick all at once that we would overwhelm our hospitals capacity. That was the reason.

It’s now abundantly obvious, in fact, has been for weeks in my state of Pennsylvania, that there is no danger of that. We have empty hospitals. We have no hospitals that are exceeding their capacity. We have ventilators on the shelf, ICU beds that are empty, hospitals with plenty of room.

In addition, we’ve got declining rates of positive tests. We have declining numbers of death and in Pennsylvania 69 percent of all COVID fatalities are inside the walls of nursing homes.

So Maria, the reason for the shutdown has passed and the rational thing to do now is protect the vulnerable people, senior citizens, people in living in nursing home settings, people with underlying health problems, that’s a — they’re at a serious risk and we need to protect them, but the vast majority of people are not in that category and we need to get on with letting people earn their living.” 

— an interview excerpt from a 05/14/20 Real Clear Politics  piece titled “Sen. Toomey: ‘The Reason For The Shutdown Has Passed’

“It would be instructive to have a demographically dispersed picture of who actually has had this coronavirus infection and has developed antibodies…

It’s been my view for some time now, that Pennsylvania is ready to reopen. Our governor, of course, has taken some modest steps. I think by our rough estimates, more than half of Pennsylvania is still effectively in a lockdown, and I think it is time we move this along. And I see that the number of cases is going down.”  

— from a 05/14/20 article in The Daily Item titled “Toomey calls for comprehensive antibody testing

“I think the goal is that we make sure that we always have access to adequate supplies. Priority number two is it should be available to us at the lowest possible price. Why should you pay more? So I think that means diversification of our supply sources. The last country that you want to be dependent on are countries that are potential adversaries, and China is a potential adversary, let’s be clear about it.” 

— from a 05/13/20 WFMZ 69 Allentown article titled “WH Advisor Peter Navarro and Senator Pat Toomey talk President Trump’s visit to Lehigh Valley

“It is wrong for Governor Wolf to withhold federal taxpayer funds from the CARES Act in an attempt to coerce compliance with his increasingly misguided lockdown policy. The CARES Act does not authorize this behavior. This development underscores the problem when one level of government sends money to a different level of government to be spent as the latter entity chooses. Money can be spent or withheld inappropriately and it is very difficult for taxpayers to know whom to hold accountable.

“The intent of the draconian shutdown of our economy was to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we would not overwhelm our hospitals. It has been clear since, at least, mid-April that the capacity of Pennsylvania’s hospitals have not been, and will not be, threatened. It is, therefore, no longer acceptable to deprive people of their livelihoods. Rather than punishing taxpayers by withholding federal aid that they helped to fund, our state government should be facilitating the safe re-opening of our economy.”

— from a 05/12/20 article in The UnionvilleTimes titled “COVID-19 Update, May 12: As Toomey demands reopening, Fauci warns of ‘uncontrollable’ outbreaks.” The article included an update that reads “Following publication of this story, a spokesperson for Toomey objected to the characterization, arguing “Sen. Toomey has repeatedly noted – time and again – that areas that are still hotspots or have questionable hospital capacity should not be moving forward.” 

“We need to be really careful here. We are challenging the limit of how much we can borrow without serious adverse effects. We now have debt that’s over 100% of GDP. We’re running a deficit that’s more than twice as a percentage of our economy.” 

— from a 05/11/20 article in The American Independent titled “Republicans suddenly care about ‘deficit’ as they try to stop virus aid

Call to Action – Support this Bill! 

The Phase Four Coronavirus Response legislation

As discussed at the top of this week’s MoCTrack Report, the HEROES Act that the House just passed (H.R. 6800) is a starting point for the negotiations on this phase four response – it defines the goals that the Democrats want to see in the next bill. We can play a role in these negotiations by putting pressure on our Republican senator to show what parts of this bill have the most support.

Please consider calling (or emailing, faxing, tweeting or using ResistBot) Senator Toomey to tell him about your favorite parts of the HEROES Act.  As a reminder, here are the provisions that Democrats are fighting for:

  • Direct financial assistance to state tribal, territorial, and local governments
  • Hazard pay for essential workers
  • An extension of the $600-per-week boost in Unemployment Compensation
  • Funding for coronavirus testing and contact tracing
  • Student debt forgiveness 
  • Protection from eviction and foreclosure for renters and homeowners
  • Funding for farmers, farmers markets and local food outlets
  • $1,200 payment to individuals (up to $6,000 per household)
  • Funding assistance to the Postal Service
  • Election security grants to states
  • An increase to the maximum SNAP benefit to address rising food prices
  • A revamping of the new employee retention tax credit to encourage employers to keep employees on payroll
  • Subsidies for COBRA, to help people who lose their jobs pay for the increased cost of maintaining their health coverage
  • New OSHA rules for creating safe work spaces and employee testing programs, as well as rules to protect workers who report coronavirus related workplace-safety issues

Consider choosing one or two of those provisions that are the most important to you, and letting Senator Toomey know about YOUR priorities. If you can, share a personal story that informs why you want to see that provision make it into the final bill.

Option ONE: CALL

TOLL FREE – (855) 552-1831 Allentown – (610) 434-1444
Erie – (814) 453-3010 Harrisburg – (717) 782-3951

Johnstown – (814) 266-5970 Philadelphia – (215) 241-1090

Pittsburgh – (412) 803-3501 Washington – (202) 224-4254

Wilkes Barre – (570) 820-4088


Text RESIST to 50409 or on Twitter, direct message “Resist” to @Resistbot
Then follow their directions. It takes about  one to two minutes to complete a full letter

 Option THREE: FAX

 Send a free FAX straight to Toomey

Use the Hashtags #HEROESAct,  #COVID19, and  #Coronavirus
Or search for those hashtags, and like/retweet content people have already composed to amplify their messaging.

Option FIVE: Senator Toomey’s Website Contact Form

Use this site – – to send an email to the Senator. 

This report was brought to you by the Pennsylvania  MoCTrack team… 


Elayne Baker 

Gary Garb
Linda Houk

Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo

We are seeking additional assistance. Our Congresspeople are always busy and there is always more for us to cover — tasks big and small to fit any level of time commitment or experience. Can you help us out?  Please email and put “MoCTrack Help” in the subject. Thanks!

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

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