PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS ENDORSES BILL TO ENSURE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PREPARES FOR RESURGENCE OF COVID-19

August 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the Problem Solvers Caucus officially endorsed the COVID Preparedness, Response, and Effective Planning for Advanced Requirements by the Executive Branch (PREPARE) Act, a bill that would require federal agencies to submit a report to Congress on the steps they are taking to respond to a potential resurgence of COVID-19, including measurable goals, anticipated challenges, and how they will consult with Congress. 

 

The PREPARE Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Problem Solvers Representatives Brad Schneider (D- IL) and John Katko (R-NY). The two Representatives later brought it to the Problem Solvers Caucus for endorsement where more than 75 percent of the 50-member Caucus agreed to support the bill.

 

“I'm pleased to endorse the bipartisan PREPARE Act that gives Congress more information on how federal agencies are prepared for a possible resurgence of COVID-19," said Problem Solvers Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer. "As we head into the fall, we must be proactive in addressing personnel, equipment, and supply chain shortfalls so that we can attack this virus head-on and ultimately save lives."

 

“With American COVID-19 deaths surpassing 150,000, American working families, frontline healthcare workers, and business owners must be prepared to experience a second wave,” said Problem Solvers Co-Chair Rep. Tom Reed. “Americans deserve to know what steps the Administration and the Federal Government are taking to learn from previous mistakes and what is being done to prevent and respond to any potential resurgences of COVID-19.”

 

“As the COVID pandemic continues to wreak havoc on American communities and take thousands of American lives, we need to be prepared that things might get even worse come fall,” Rep. Brad Schneider. “Congress has a duty to assure the American people that the federal government is doing everything in its power to beat back the dual health and economic crises of this pandemic. The COVID PREPARE Act will provide bipartisan oversight and full transparency into both the planning and execution of our national response. We all certainly hope for the best, but we must responsibly prepare for the worst.

 

“I’m honored the Problem Solvers Caucus has endorsed my bipartisan bill, the COVID Preparedness, Response, and Effective Planning for Advanced Requirements by the Executive Branch (PREPARE) Act,” said Rep. John Katko. “With Central New York and communities across the nation still reeling from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, it’s extremely troubling to now see reports of COVID-19 spiking in many states. Americans deserve assurances that the Administration and Federal Government is fully prepared to prevent and respond to additional waves of the virus. This legislation will require federal agencies to develop and submit reports to Congress on how they would mitigate and respond to a resurgence of COVID-19.”

 

“In the early days of the pandemic, the federal government’s response to COVID-19 was delayed, disorganized, and haphazard. Since then, federal agencies have learned many hard lessons, and they need to build new, effective strategies that protect American families and communities going into the fall,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger. “The bipartisan PREPARE Act is a commonsense step toward making sure the administration is anticipating the new challenges that could arise amid a continued resurgence of the virus later this year. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus in endorsing this legislation, and I look forward to holding government agencies accountable on how they intend to strengthen our national testing strategy, respond to outbreaks, and keep our small businesses and economy afloat.”

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on every level of our government. Our federal government and agencies must be ready to handle a potential resurgence of this virus,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “By requiring agencies to develop plans to handle a possible resurgence, the bipartisan COVID PREPARE Act will ensure that our government is being proactive and working to keep Americans safe.”

 

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we need a comprehensive, national plan for addressing this pandemic, not 50 disparate plans made by governors operating in a void of helpful information,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran. “The COVID PREPARE Act will require federal agencies to submit data-driven reports to Congress on how they will respond to potential resurgences of COVID-19 so that we can better coordinate at the federal level and address this viral spread head-on. I am proud to cosponsor this important bill.”

 

“The COVID-19 crisis isn’t going away anytime soon, and over the past few weeks, spikes in states across the nation have demonstrated we need the COVID PREPARE Act now more than ever,” said Rep. Fred Upton. “The federal government must be prepared to get front line workers, schools, health providers, and public health officials the resources they need to keep folks in southwest Michigan and across the nation safe and healthy.”

 

“Our nation’s response plan to a Coronavirus resurgence must be proactive and guided by science,” said Rep. Elaine Luria. “That is why I am proud to stand with my Problems Solvers Caucus colleagues in supporting the COVID PREPARE Act, a commonsense bipartisan bill to require federal agencies to submit a report to Congress regarding their plan in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 cases. We owe it to our frontline health care workers, Americans with preexisting conditions, and school systems struggling to plan to reopen in the fall to anticipate challenges and set measurable goals to keep constituents safe during this public health emergency.”

 

“As our nation continues battling this virus, it is evident we must have a strategic plan in place should there be a resurgence of COVID-19,” said Rep. Van Taylor. “Our frontline workers, seniors, and families deserve to know all federal agencies are working together to protect American lives. With support from the Problem Solvers Caucus, I am hopeful this bipartisan legislation will advance through the House to better ensure our nation is prepared to overcome this pandemic.”

 

“As states across the country continue to grapple with the fallout from this pandemic, it’s critical that this administration is prepared to deal with a possible resurgence in the future,” said Rep. Susie Lee. “While we cannot change the past, we have to hold the administration accountable to be better prepared for possible future outbreaks. This bipartisan bill will ensure that every federal agency is prepared to respond to and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic if there is a resurgence down the line.” 

 

“We need to do everything we can to make sure we are prepared for any resurgence of COVID-19,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi. “New York state has already sacrificed so much and we need to work together to align all aspects of the federal response when this ugly disease rears its head again. I am honored to join the Problem Solvers Caucus in endorsing this bipartisan legislation and hopeful it will get a vote soon.”

 

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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).