Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a sweeping coronavirus economic aid package: only 40 Republicans voted against it. One of them? Idaho’s First Congressional District Representative Russ Fulcher - who I am running to replace.
The package provides free coronavirus testing, emergency paid sick and family leave, emergency food aid and financial assistance to people and businesses affected by the virus’ effect on the nation’s economy.
I applaud the passage of this aid, essential to helping America pull through this difficult time. But Fulcher’s response shows a lack of seriousness and urgency for what we are facing, and his attitude is downright dangerous.
Fulcher doesn't understand that it is essential to support emergency paid sick and family leave for those who are sick and their caretakers. This is the only way Idahoans can both limit the spread of the virus and focus on recovering with the peace of mind of a paycheck.
So many working Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
In fact, Idaho leads the country in minimum wage jobs, meaning many working families don't have emergency funds for buying two weeks of groceries. And, with school closures, thousands of Idaho kids are going without reliable daily meals.
This is why funding the food aid piece is so crucial and makes sense for our state.
Fulcher also seems to have forgotten about our small businesses and their employees, the backbone of our entire economy.
The coronavirus relief bill also provides critical support for small businesses, who are bearing the economic brunt of this crisis. Small business owners need financial support so they can, in turn, support their employees. It’s the only way we can keep ourselves whole.
This is not a time to play partisan games: our health, our livelihoods and our country's stability are all at stake. Now more than ever, it is necessary to put partisan bickering aside, work together, and compromise for the sake of Idaho and the country.
We need leadership who can put people, not party, first. We are all in this together, and it's a shame that Idaho’s Fulcher while in Washington D.C. has lost touch with the needs of Idaho’s working families.
That’s why I’m running, and why I hope I can count on your support.