Potential relief and keeping a watchful eye on Georgia: updates on the efforts of Senator Warnock
On Tuesday, February 23rd (a little after 4pm EST), Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) held his weekly press conference to provide updates on the work taking place during the current legislative session. While the proposed $1.9 trillion federal relief package is the focus on the 15-minute conversation with us (media), there are other topics covered.
He opens with acknowledgement of the anniversary of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the work needed regarding his and related cases. From there, he transitions to the work transpiring with the relief package, including (but not limited to) the following key areas (make sure to view the full video/press conference):
The expectation is by the end of the week (February 26th), the House of Representatives will vote on the package. The hope is once it clears the House, it will be in the hands of the US Senate early next week (the business week of March 1, 2021).
One key outcome is improved access and distribution of the vaccines to help stem the spread of Covid-19. Millions are earmarked for these measures, including $4.4 billion for K-12 for more PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) so schools can reopen in a much safer manner.
$2 billion is earmarked for expansion of Georgia's Medicaid system (given there's an estimated 500,000 Georgians/workers who have limited or no healthcare).
Support for those with rental assistance given the pandemic ($550 million in additional resources) and mortgage/utilities assistance for low to moderate income families (an additional $200 million in resources).
Additional support/stimulus (on top of opportunities via the child tax and earned income credit) up to $2000.
Prior to the conclusion of the press conference, he notes his concern of events taking place in the Georgia Legislature regarding the curtailing of early voting and related areas of concern, which are taking the form of voter suppression. On the national/federal level, he expresses commitment to the John Lewis Voting Right Advancement Act as well as the For the People Act to help protect and expand voting rights and access for all citizens.
When asked of his communication with Georgia leadership, Senator Warnock notes he's communicated with the Lieutenant Governor (Geoff Duncan) and welcomes conversation with other levels of state leadership, including Governor Kemp, regarding needs of residents of Georgia. He emphasizes his main concern is serving the people of Georgia, as complications with the pandemic are having adverse impacts on our economy, let alone being a matter of "life and death" as recently, the country surpasses the 500,000 mark of those who have died due to Covid-19.
Just a little over a month in office, Senator Warnock is displaying a readiness to serve (click HERE for his previous press conference with Senators Schumer and Ossoff), let alone remain as engaged as possible (click HERE to find out more).
There's little time to waste.