Problem Solvers Release Reopening and ‘Back to Work’ Checklist

April 21, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus has released a lengthy checklist it hopes will help guide the White House and congressional leaders as they continue to work toward fully reopening the U.S. economy.

While the caucus, which has 25 Republican and 25 Democratic members, acknowledges there is still much to address in the ongoing health crisis, its member believe now is also the time to devise “a clear back-to-work plan, with clear benchmarks, to reopen America, safely and with the best chance of reigniting the economy immediately.”

The checklist includes several items that have already been included in economic stimulus bills passed over the past month, but also includes items that have yet to be addressed, including expanded aid to state and local governments and significant infrastructure investments.

“We are facing an unprecedented public health challenge that has very real and immediate effects on all Americans on two main fronts — our health and our economy,” said Problem Solvers co-chair Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.

“This is a time for everyone to unite to overcome this multi-front threat to our nation’s future. The Reopening and Recovery Back to Work Checklist is a bipartisan plan to safely reopen America and reignite the economy. If we stand together, we will not fail. We will revive America through our country’s primary force of good — the power of her people,” Reed added.

The Problem Solvers Democratic co-chair, Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, said his district is one of the hardest hit areas in the country, with more than 22,000 cases and 1,100 deaths.

“As I’ve seen first-hand, this virus knows no bounds, which is why this bipartisan ‘Back to Work’ Checklist prioritizes public health, while helping our local businesses, hospitals, and front-line health care workers,” Gottheimer said.

“Our Problem Solvers checklist presents a common-sense path forward. Ubiquitous testing, contact tracing, and heeding the advice of experts will be essential,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y. “We must also understand that reopening the economy in New York is very different than reopening it in North Dakota and we will need special help in New York. Everyone must put aside partisanship and work for the common good.”

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said the coronavirus pandemic has sparked a range of unprecedented challenges in her central Virginia district.

“During these challenging times, we need to build a strategic, nationwide plan to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and lay the foundations for our country’s eventual economic renewal,” she said. “This comprehensive, bipartisan checklist outlines many of the public health, economic, and long-term infrastructure priorities the federal government must pursue to get American families back to work and our healthcare system under control.”

The caucus described its checklist as a “bipartisan forged – and agreed upon – vision for America’s future.”

To a member it acknowledged that truly recovering “will require a regional, industry-by-industry, incremental, multi-faceted, and data-driven approach.

“This isn’t a one-size-fits-all vision, but rather a dynamic multi-prong, multi-front strategy combining health, economic rescue, and stimulus plans for our nation’s immediate future,” the caucus said.

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