WASHINGTON - Today, Monday, April 20, 2020, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus – 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans strong -- released its Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist, a multi-prong, data driven proposal focused on reopening America safely and reigniting the economy.
The 50-member bipartisan Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Tom Reed (NY-23), found consensus on the bipartisan set of recommendations focused on public health, economic rescue, and stimulus plans for our country’s immediate future. The plan will serve as guiding principles that the Problem Solvers Caucus hope to see incorporated and addressed in the country’s plans to address the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Copies of the Reopening and Recovery Back to Work Checklist have been delivered to Congressional leadership and the White House as options for immediate consideration in the next phase(s) of Coronavirus response.
“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. “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.”
"In my District in North Jersey, we are, tragically, one of the hardest hit areas in the entire 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. We need a clear checklist to reopen our economy safely and get back to work," said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
“While we continue to focus on flattening the curve, we must also be prepared for when our health officials believe it is safe to reopen our economy. Our bipartisan checklist is a good first step to help establish parameters for reopening our country,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “Any plan to reopen the country must give attention to the medical and economic challenges this pandemic has created, while also providing solutions to the issues that allowed this virus to spread. We will come out on the other side of this pandemic, and we will continue to work to make sure this never happens again.”
“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. “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.”
“In Central Virginia, the coronavirus pandemic has sparked a range of unprecedented challenges—frontline healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line every day, small businesses are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and permanent closure, and working families are struggling to make ends meet. 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,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger. “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. I’m also proud to support this plan’s focus on direct investments in states, counties, cities, and towns—because our localities should not have to beg to receive the financial support they need during this moment of crisis.”
“Our bipartisan plan to get folks back to work while prioritizing public health and safety sets benchmarks based on science,” said Rep. Fred Upton. “This plan focuses on our nation’s immediate needs to keep people healthy, stimulate our economy, and protect folks’ jobs. We need to lower the temperature in the room and realize that reopening our nation will require a dynamic, multifaceted approach, and I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reopen America.”
“While the health and safety of all Americans needs to be our top priority, we also need to make sure that our workers, families, and small businesses have the support they need to not just make it through this pandemic, but to also be prepared for the reopening of our country,” said Rep. Susie Lee. “Right now, our hospitals and front line health care workers still need more support and resources to fully combat this virus. This plan establishes mass, rapid testing and sufficient PPE for our first responders, health care personnel, and essential workers. In the long-term, there is no doubt that an economic reopening of this scale will take a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that can only be implemented by working together with experts and officials from every industry, background, and region of the country. This is not the time to leave any American behind, and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus Back to Work recovery plan is what our nation needs.”
"Our country's recovery will not take place overnight, and the American people need to know Congress is doing everything possible to make sure they are safe and supported while our economy recovers," Rep. Jim Costa said. "The Problem Solvers Caucus plan lays out the important steps we need to take as all of us embark on the long journey back from the disruption and turmoil caused by this devastating pandemic."
“For public health, safety and our economy, we must be wise about the next steps we take as a nation,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal. “Our bipartisan, science and data-driven plan to reopen and recover from the coronavirus considers everything from housing, unemployment and struggling industries to medical equipment, contact tracing and vaccine development. Safely adapting our communities during and after this pandemic is an extraordinary challenge—we need a bold solution to meet this moment. I’m proud to support this Problem Solvers Caucus plan.”
“Reopening our economy and getting Americans back to work should be driven by the best advice from doctors and public health professionals,” said Rep. Dan Lipinski. “This bipartisan proposal demands clear and consistent public health protocols, improved widespread testing, adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, reconfigured workplaces, and a replenished national stockpile of critical healthcare supplies in order to help get Americans back on the job. We also lay out a plan that will facilitate economic recovery and longer-term growth. If we can reject the pull of partisan politics and work together, we can find solutions to protect Americans and get the economy going for workers.”
“We certainly can’t take our foot off of the throat of the invisible, deadly enemy, but America also needs a back-to-work plan with clear goals and objectives, said Rep. Bill Johnson. “I’m confident we can – and must – do both at the same time. Americans should know that the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus continues to work together to put country over pushing political agendas.”
“We need a clear, safe, and bipartisan plan to get our economy going again,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi. “Our families want to get back to school, our workers back to work, and our small businesses want to open their doors. American ingenuity will drive us out of this crisis. Democrats and Republicans agree: public health and safety need to be driving our solutions and this bipartisan plan outlines a safe and streamlined way to get our economy moving again.”
“Before we reopen our nation, we must consult and heed the advice of public health experts,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran. “That process includes expanding robust testing and contact tracing operations, as well as preparing and implementing the additional public health protocols outlined in our proposal. We also need to focus on what relief is needed for our small businesses, state and local governments, and long-overlooked rural and tribal areas. As we decide what longer-term investments are needed to support our nation and help prepare for potential resurgences of COVID-19, I will continue to listen to health care providers, businesses, government entities, and families in my district to learn what is and is not working. The American people are counting on us to ensure a safe and healthy environment in which their families can live and work. We must deliver for them.”
“Coronavirus has affected every facet of life for all American. We must look comprehensively at our response and recovery, with a focus on public health and the economy,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “In Michigan, I’ve worked with our manufacturing partners to retool and refocus production to the needs of the moment while taking particular care to ensure the safety and well-being of workers. Workers are at the core of public health and the economy. We will never be able to rebound without hardworking men and women of this nation.”
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprised of 50 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).