The American People are Hurting 

Congress Must Get Back to Work


I have heard from thousands of Vermonters since the start of this pandemic who have been unable to pay their rent, mortgage, electric bill, or put food on the table. In every corner of our country people are suffering and terrified. I went to the Senate floor on August 5th and called on my colleagues to listen to just a few of the many, many stories from my constituents and to act on their behalf, and on behalf of millions of Americans who desperately need help right now. And yet, the U.S. Senate majority allowed critical assistance to lapse, failed to pass legislation to provide the American people the help they need, and adjourned.

Floor Speech Video

When the Senate returns next week, know I will be fighting for:

  • Extending federal unemployment assistance
  • Saving the United States Postal Service
  • Monthly stimulus payments
  • A paycheck security program to cover the wages and benefits of employees of affected businesses  
  • Empowering Medicare to cover all out-of-pocket healthcare expenses of the uninsured and underinsured for one year by taxing the windfall wealth increases billionaires have accumulated during this pandemic 
  • Manufacturing and distributing high-quality, reusable masks to everyone in America 
  • Canceling rent and mortgage payments and a moratorium on evictions
  • Expanding federal nutrition assistance 
  • Increasing federal funding to states to help in their emergency response 
  • Hazard pay and protections for front line workers
  • Funding to states to ensure a free, fair, and safe election
We cannot abandon our people — Congress must get back to work to pass emergency relief for the working class who are hurting like they have never hurt before.

Thank You!

Over 3,000 Vermonters Participated in Our Poll on Federal Relief Priorities


In July, I asked Vermonters to participate in a poll to share their thoughts on what should be prioritized in the next federal emergency response legislation. I want to thank the over 3,000 Vermonters who participated. I greatly appreciate the thoughtful and heartfelt replies. Your responses were powerful reminders of the struggle that continues and the important work that Congress must do. 


Here are just a few sobering results from the poll responses: 

  • 55.5% are worried about being able to pay their bills
  • 31% are worried about affording food
  • 21% are worried about finding a job
  • 42% are worried about affording health care 

Many Vermonters are struggling and it is abundantly clear they need help. Eighty percent of respondents supported extending federal unemployment assistance and 88% supported additional rounds of federal stimulus payments. Congress must listen to the American people. To my fellow Vermonters: I hear you and I will continue to fight for you. I will urge my colleagues to step up, do their job, and provide a necessary, strong federal response to this unprecedented health and economic crisis. 

Please continue to share your thoughts with me, and do not hesitate to contact my office should you need assistance by phone at 802-862-0697 or 1-800-339-9834, or on our website.


State COVID-19 Relief Assistance is Still Available


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, commonly known as the CARES Act, included a substantial amount of direct aid to states. Vermont received a $1.25 billion federal grant and the Vermont Governor and Legislature worked diligently to determine how best to allocate the flexible funding to address the many needs of Vermonters. While some of the programs created to help homeowners, sole proprietors, health and child care providers are currently closed, several state programs are still open for Vermonters seeking assistance. Find information below about the programs that are still accepting applications. Please note that some assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis and program funds may be limited.

  • Rental Housing Stabilization program: Renters who have been unable to make payments during this crisis, as well as landlords who’ve been negatively impacted due to missed rental payments, can apply for financial assistance. Find out more here:
  • Emergency Economic Recovery grants: Small business owners, and nonprofits and cultural organizations with economic losses of at least 50 percent during this crisis may be eligible for a grant. Some business types must apply for assistance via other grant programs. Find out more here:
  • Forest Economy Stabilization Grant Program: Businesses in Vermont’s forest economy that have experienced $5,000 or more in cumulative revenue loss in the months between March and August can apply for financial assistance. Find out more here:
  • Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program: Dairy farmers and processors and other agriculture and working lands businesses that have experienced income loss or additional expenses may be eligible for assistance and must apply by October 1st. Find out more here:
  • Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program: Certain front-line workers in the public safety, public health, health care and human services sectors may be eligible for a $1,200 or $2,000 grant through their employer. Applications must be submitted by October 31st. Find out more here:
  • Utility Bill Relief Program: Vermonters who have fallen behind on their utility bills and face possible disconnections can apply for financial assistance. Residential and nonresidential customers with past due balances for electricity, natural gas, regulated private water and landline telephone bills must apply by November 30th. Find out more here:
  • Vermont Sole Proprietor Stabilization Program: Sole proprietors with no employees who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can apply for assistance. Grant awards are determined by a lottery draw. The first application round closed on July 31st, however a second round of funding will be made available soon. Find out more here:
  • Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program: Health care and human service providers who have experiences income loss or additional expenses can apply for assistance. The first application round closed on August 15th, however the application will open for new and returning applicants in the coming months. Find out more here:

Masks Are Required in Vermont — Do You Need A Mask?



As of August 1st Vermonters are required to wear masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces when sufficient social distance cannot be maintained. Thank you to each and every person who has adopted this important practice and is doing their part to keep their friends, families, and neighbors safe. 

Vermont is providing 300,000 masks to communities throughout the state. To get a free mask, find your town contact information at I strongly believe the federal government must provide everyone in America with high-quality, reusable masks free of charge — which is why I’ve introduced legislation to do just that. To learn more about Vermont’s mask mandate, visit:

To learn about Masks for All, visit:


How Can We Help?

My Burlington office has a team of experienced caseworkers who help Vermonters navigate federal agencies every day. If you think my office can help you, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-339-9834 or (802) 862-0697, or click here

If you would like to share your thoughts on pending legislation, or if you have an idea that we could address through new legislation, click here