MDP Friday Round-Up: Gary Peters Is Getting Results For Michigan

U.S. Senator Gary Peters is putting in the work to make sure that Michiganders have the relief they need to get through the Coronavirus crisis and historic flooding in mid-Michigan. From addressing the President’s threat to withhold needed federal funding to the state of Michigan to securing $315 million in federal funds to expand testing to combat the Coronavirus crisis — Gary fighting to put Michigan first.  

Read below on how Gary is getting things done: 

GARY IS WORKING TO GET RELIEF TO MID-MICHIGAN AFTER FLOODING

As Ranking Member of HSGAC overseeing FEMA, Gary is coordinating with FEMA to respond to flooding in mid-Michigan. 

Detroit News: Whitmer seeks FEMA aid for Midland’s widespread flooding

  • U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said he expects Whitmer might seek a federal disaster declaration in response to the flooding for federal aid, noting that would involve a survey and damage assessment on the ground. Read more here

GARY DISCUSSES TRUMP VISIT AND VOTE BY MAIL ON CNN 

Gary joined CNN New Day to discuss President Trump’s visit to Michigan and threats made to the state over sending vote by mail applications. 

GARY ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS MEDICAL SUPPLY CHAIN VULNERABILITIES

This week, Gary announced news two bill which would address vulnerabilities in the supply chain for critical drugs and medical equipment in the United States.

The State News: Peters announces national medical manufacturing legislation

  • Peters held a conference call Wednesday to announce two bills to address vulnerabilities in the medical supply chain and increase investments in U.S. manufacturing.
  • Overall, the two bills are focused on decreasing U.S. reliance on foreign manufacturers by tracking where critical drugs and medical supplies are made while bolstering the production of supplies and personal protective equipment, or PPE.
  • As ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters had previously raised concerns of critical drug shortages in a December 2019 report.
  • Peters specified that the report calls out the heavy American dependence on both China’s and India’s pharmaceutical and medical supply chains — because chemicals developed from those countries are used in U.S. drugs.

GARY PETERS SECURES CORONAVIRUS TESTING FUNDS FOR MICHIGAN

Gary announced last week that $315 million in federal funds have been secured for Michigan to expand its testing to combat the Coronavirus crisis. Peters worked to secure the funding as part of a $25 billion testing package for Michigan he fought to be included in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

MLive: Michigan receives $315 million in federal funds for coronavirus testing

  • A total of $315 million in federal funds is coming to the state of Michigan from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a news release from U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said.
  • “This will help prevent the spread of this devastating virus so workers, families and small businesses can all work toward a new normal in a safe and healthy way,” Peters said in the release. “Ultimately, however, we still have not seen a thorough plan to ramp up widespread testing on the federal level, and I urge the Trump Administration to work with Congress on ways to prioritize increased testing moving forward.”

Read more: 

GARY DISCUSSES SAFELY REOPENING AUTO PLANTS

Gary joined Squawk Box on CNBC this week to discuss the process of safely reopening automotive plants in Michigan. 

WATCH – CNBC: Michigan Sen. Gary Peters on safely reopening auto plants


GARY PETERS DISCUSSES PFAS CLEANUP, EXPANDING UNEMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY, AND HEROES FUND ON ECLECTABLOG PODCAST

Gary joined Eclectablog to share an update on his work for Michiganders including, his push to expedite PFAS cleanup efforts in Oscoda, legislation he enacted to expand eligibility for unemployment assistance, and his fight to ensure that essential frontline workers receive the hazard pay they deserve through his proposed Heroes Fund.

Listen to the full interview here

  • On Standing With Michigan Families To Expedite PFAS Cleanup Efforts: “So I’ve been focused on cleaning those sites up, finding resources to do that, [and] have a standard. I’ve been doing a lot of work with the military – I serve on the Armed Services Committee. Some of our hotspots are former military bases, Wurtsmith Air Force Base for example in the Oscoda area has been a problem for a long time and the residents have been fighting for a long time to get help. We were able to just recently appropriate additional money to help the cleanup efforts there. Unfortunately the Air Force has come back and said they’re going to do more study with the money, which didn’t make sense to me. They’ve been studying it for 10 years. It’s time to like starting to do some cleanup and so we’re going to be pushing them aggressively to get that done, but the other aspect of it is that in addition and cleanup we got to stop putting this stuff in the environment to begin with. And that’s why I’ve worked, and was successful in getting language to phase out PFAS from firefighting foam in our aircraft firefighting equipment.”
  • On Expanding Eligibility For Unemployment: “Well, I think it’s pretty clear we need to do more. It’s important for us to make sure that we keep the economy afloat so we can get back to a new normal as soon and safely as we possibly can. And that means we have to make sure that families have the resources they need to continue to put food on the table and a roof over their head. That’s why the expansion of unemployment was so important. And in fact the Pandemic Assistance Act, which expanded eligibility for unemployment is the act that I wrote – it’s my legislation. It’s patterned after the work I do with FEMA and how we expand unemployment eligibility with other natural disasters like hurricanes and floods and wildfires. That is critically important for folks who may be small business owners or independent contractors who work in the gig economy which are so many people now. Folks who drive Ubers things of that nature. That was critical and we not only expanded eligibility, we also made sure there was additional money to help people stay afloat. We’re gonna have to make sure that continues to be [a] healthy and strong program until we get through this crisis.”
  • On Fighting For Essential Workers: “But I’ll tell you one thing that I really will be pushing for and I’m so happy that the House took it up, was my proposal for a Heroes [Fund] which helps essential workers – to make sure essential workers are taken care of and receive bonus pay for basically being in harm’s way. So the proposal that I have been advocating in large measure has now been put into the House version, we’re going to fight to keep it in the Senate version. But say if you’re one of those individuals who are in a necessary job that has to be done, and you put yourself at risk and you put your families at risk that you should be receiving a form of hazard pay, a bonus. Certainly you should receive our thanks, every American should thank those individuals, but they also deserve money in their pocket as well to compensate for the added risk that they’re taking.”
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