With Less Than 100 Days To Election, Gary Peters Continues To Put Michigan First

With less than 100 days until Election Day, U.S. Senator Gary Peters continues to fight for Michiganders, whether it’s working towards securing COVID-19 relief or introducing legislation that always puts Michigan first. 

GARY CONTINUES TO FIGHT FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

Time and time again, Gary has proven himself to be a leader who can get things done for the people of Michigan and will keep fighting to ensure communities across the state have the resources they need during this national crisis. 

Michigan Advance: US Senate COVID-19 aid package passes with Peters’ unemployment extension 

  • The bill includes a Peters provision for federally funded unemployment benefits to people unable to work because of COVID-19. It expands who is eligible for unemployment to include workers who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits or other workers who would not usually qualify, such as self-employed workers like small business owners, freelance workers, independent contractors and seasonal workers as well as individuals who have recently started or were about to start a new job. Workers could receive benefits for up to 39 weeks.
  • “Michiganders who aren’t receiving a paycheck or have lost their jobs because of the Coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can pay their bills or put food on the table — and that’s why I fought to secure inclusion of my legislation to expand critical unemployment assistance to everyone from small business owners to workers in the gig economy and independent contractors,” Peters said in a floor speech.

The Detroit News: Peters wants ‘essential workers’ to get up to $25k in hazard pay amid pandemic

  • Michigan Sen. Gary Peters on Wednesday detailed a proposal to give “essential workers” a government-funded boost in pay of up to $25,000 during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Under the new “Heroes Fund” plan, essential workers would include not only front-line medical personnel like doctors and nurses but also pharmacists, grocery store workers, truck drivers, building cleaners, letter carriers, Transportation Security Administration and transit workers who interface with the public daily.
  • The pay bump would be equivalent to an increase of $13 an hour and would be retroactive, covering workers from the start of the public health emergency through the end of the year.

Keweenaw Report: Senator Peters Helps Pass COVID-19 Package

  • Michigan Senator Gary Peters helped pass the third COVID-19 package, which will expand unemployment benefits, support small businesses, and hospitals and health care professionals.
  • The bill includes Peters’ Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act, which will create an unemployment compensation program to help those unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State News: Peters announces national medical manufacturing legislation

  • “When I put out the report last year, it was a theoretical, but real, problem,” U.S. Sen. Gary Peters said. “Now, it is a 100% real problem that we know we have to deal with.”
  • 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.

Detroit Free Press: Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

  • Hospitals in the states hardest hit by the virus in March and April — New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — got the least amount of federal support per patient, according to a 17-page report released Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
  • The delay, he said, has “increased … the number of people who are laid off or are on furloughs, and is digging a deeper hole in the financial picture for hospitals and other health providers across the country.” The delay also means providers are less prepared if COVID-19 surges again, he said.

Mid-Michigan NOW: Peters announces proposal to support students, families, teachers for coming school year

  • U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) today announced a proposal to support an eventual safe return to school by ensuring local communities have the resources and supplies as Senate negotiations begin on the next Coronavirus package and schools begin considering steps to return in the fall, Peters’ proposal would help ensure communities have the flexibility and support to continue students’ education and development while protecting the health and safety of students, teachers, staff and their families.
  • “Our students need to be able to continue getting a quality education safely this fall – whether it is in-person or distance learning. After listening to and talking with parents, teachers and school administrators across Michigan as they prepare for the coming school year, it’s clear the federal government must provide sufficient resources and flexibility for our local schools,” said Senator Peters. 

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GARY PUSHES TO ADDRESS RACIAL INEQUITIES, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Following the murder of George Floyd and outbreak of calls for justice across the country, Gary stepped up right away to call out the need for major reform in our criminal justice system and to address the racial injustices in American society.

Click On Detroit: Sen. Gary Peters hosts online forum on racial justice

  • In a virtual campaign event, Sen. Gary Peters (D) touted recent proposals in the Senate on policing reform. Peters was joined by MI NAACP Rev. Wendell Anthony and former Attorney General Eric Holder in the discussion which lasted just over an hour.
  • Peters said policing reform is a “long list of issues” but focused heavily on transparency and accountability for officers and police departments including a way to keep track of officers who act improperly so they can’t move from department to department. He also stressed the need for incentives for those who join law enforcement in their communities or those who choose to live in the communities they police.

Detroit News: Peters introduces bipartisan Senate community policing bill

  • Michigan Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters has introduced legislation in the Republican-controlled Senate aiming to boost trust between police and the neighborhoods they serve by encouraging law enforcement officers to work in the community where they live. 
  • “We know community policing is a forward-leaning approach to providing protection and services to the community. It’s about police officers and sheriffs knowing the community, understanding the community, often knowing individuals by name,” said Peters, a Democrat from Bloomfield Township.

WNEM: Peters introduces bill to create commission to overhaul criminal justice system

  • Peters is sponsoring legislation that would create a 14-member bipartisan National Criminal Justice Commission to assess the entire system top to bottom.
  • The commission’s goal would be to propose reforms, address the most pressing issues including inequality, overburdened courts, skyrocketing incarceration costs, and relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

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GARY FIGHTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Gary understands that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. That is why Gary fought so hard to ensure that PPP loans got to Michigan small businesses, and introduced legislation to create a National Institute of Manufacturing to streamline dozens of federal manufacturing programs spread across multiple agencies, enabling our country to better respond to rapid changes in global manufacturing. 

9&10 News: Sen. Gary Peters Visits Traverse City to Meet Beneficiary of Paycheck Protection Program

  • Senator Gary Peters stopped in Traverse City on Wednesday to visit TentCraft, a local business that benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program….“We need to do more. We’re going to be looking at additional COVID-19 packages in the U.S. senate over the next few weeks and I think we need to provide more flexibility to our small businesses to use this money to keep their operations going,” said Senator Peters.

Detroit News: Sen. Peters Introduces Legislation To Create National Institute Of Manufacturing

  • Peters said there are federal 58 programs spread across 11 agencies that deal with manufacturing. “They’re not coordinated, it’s not efficient, taxpayer money is being wasted,” he said. “We need to be focused on the mission, which is to strengthen good-paying manufacturing jobs in America.”
  • The National Institute of Manufacturing would “speak with one voice for manufacturing in the country,” he said, and allow a comprehensive strategy for enhancing manufacturing around the country.

UpNorthLive: Sen. Peters: Turkish imports to be tracked to determine impact on Michigan cherry industry

  • Michigan’s cherry growers have faced unfair Turkish and foreign dumpers for years and Gary is fighting against the trade imbalance devastating Michigan’s cherry growers.
  • “I believe it is going to show very clearly what growers and processors in Traverse City know all too well, that Turkey’s dumping of this product is having a devastating impact on the industry here in our state.”

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GARY FIGHTS TO PROTECT HEALTH CARE AMID PANDEMIC

In such incredibly uncertain and difficult times, Gary is fighting to make sure no one has to choose between paying their bills and getting the care they need – whether it’s lowering the cost of prescription drugs or working to protect and expand access to affordable health care.

WLUC: Sen. Peters vows to protect the Affordable Care Act during virtual campaign event

  • “One thing that certainly comes out of this pandemic is it highlights the need for us to make sure that we have quality, affordable, healthcare for all Americans,” said Peters. “To me, healthcare is a right, it’s one that we need to focus on to make sure that it’s available.”

Michigan Advance: Michigan ranks 6th for adults stripped of health care during pandemic 

  • During a roundtable on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and former Acting Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt talked about how access to health care is crucial during a pandemic. 
  • “Nearly a quarter of a million people [in Michigan] have lost health care coverage as a result of losing their jobs and of the dislocation that we are seeing in our economy as a result of this crisis,” Peters said. “At the same time that folks are losing health care and people are afraid should they contract the disease and be infected and go into the hospital and have immense bills when they come out, we have a Trump administration that is actively trying to dismantle and end the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

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GARY PROTECTS MICHIGAN’S GREAT LAKES AND ENVIRONMENT

During his time as our Senator, Gary has been a champion for Michigan, fighting for clean drinking water and the protection of our Great Lakes.

Following advocacy and continued calls from U.S. Senator Gary Peters to expedite cleanup efforts, the United States Air Force announced that they had agreed to award a contract to remediate the spread of PFAS in Oscoda. This comes after Gary secured $13.5 million for remediation efforts around the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base and worked to pass a bipartisan measure to stop future use of PFAS chemicals in DOD firefighting foams.

Detroit News: Air Force to clean up contamination of Oscoda base after pushback

  • The Air Force Civil Engineer Center announced it is awarding a contract in July that will expand capture zones to better control migration of PFAS contaminants from a former air force base in Oscoda following pushes from politicians.
  • The announcement comes after Sen. Gary Peters wrote to the Air Force last month urging the branch to expedite PFAS cleanup efforts at the former base in Oscoda. He said the Air Force’s treatment efforts to date would not adequately capture and stop the continued spread of the PFAS.

9 And 10 News: Hook & Hunting: The Great American Outdoors Act

  • The U.S. Senate passed legislation aimed at protecting and expanding outdoor recreation areas across the country.
  • “In Michigan we are blessed with incredible natural resources, we have incredible parks and we have great forests we take great pride in that and when you think about recreational opportunities and the tourism that results from that it is incredibly important for our economy as well,” said Peters.

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