Dear Fellow Vermonter,

Let me take this opportunity to wish all Vermonters a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year.

This has been an extremely difficult year for all of us. The COVID-19 virus and the economic catastrophe that followed has created one of the most stressful times in modern American history.

The good news is there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Two vaccines, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, have already begun to be distributed and it is my hope that over the next several months every Vermonter will have the opportunity to be vaccinated, bringing an end to this pandemic. Until then, it is critical that we all keep wearing masks and social distancing to prevent this horrible virus from spreading further.

As many of you know, Congress has just passed a second COVID-19 stimulus package. My focus over the past several weeks has been the need to get direct payments to working families, making sure they are financially able to survive this winter. Along with Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, I introduced legislation to provide every working-class American a direct payment of $1,200, $2,400 for couples and $500 for children. Too many Americans and too many Vermonters are suffering to not get them help immediately.

This was an uphill fight from the beginning, with strong opposition to direct payments of any amount from both Republican leadership and some Democrats. While it was much less than what we wanted, the final bill contained $600 for every working-class American, $1,200 for couples and $600 for children. This means that a working family of four will receive a direct payment of $2,400. These emergency payments will provide very real help to families in their time of need.

In Vermont, it means that over 90% of people, including 445,000 adults and 153,000 children, will be getting these payments in the near future. This totals nearly $350 million for our state’s economy this winter, helping not only our families, but many small businesses that are trying to survive.

The COVID-19 relief bill also does many other important things such as extending unemployment benefits, providing money for rent relief, childcare, nutrition assistance, support for small businesses, and a continuation of a moratorium on evictions.

Let me be clear: this bill does not go anywhere near far enough. In fact, it should be considered just a down payment. When President-elect Biden assumes office and when the Senate comes back into session in January, I will immediately begin fighting for another relief bill to help Vermont’s families – including another round of direct payments and more relief for the unemployed, the hungry and those who owe back rent and are behind on their mortgage payments. In this unprecedented crisis, it is imperative that we do everything we can to protect the working families of our country, the elderly, the children and the poor.

There have been few years in the modern history of our country as tough as 2020. As we look to 2021, it is clear that we have an enormous amount of work in front of us as we fight to overcome this terrible pandemic and create an economy that works for all people.

If my office can be of any help, please do not hesitate to give us a ring at 1-800-339-9834.

I hope you and your family have a joyous holiday season and a very happy New Year.




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