“The coronavirus poses an unprecedented challenge to our health and our way of life, and requires immediate action and coordination across the state, local, and federal levels. What we face is first and foremost a public health crisis, and our primary goal must be to get this disease under control. Until we do so, there’s no amount of federal dollars that will allow us to keep our economy shut down indefinitely. Recognizing this, the CARES Act surges badly needed resources to the hospital systems, healthcare workers, and first responders on the frontlines of this fight. It devotes billions of dollars towards testing and other critical supplies, and builds on the bipartisan efforts I’ve led to ensure states like Wisconsin have the resources they need to defeat this disease.
“The bill also contains provisions to mitigate the significant economic damage that this virus is causing. Throughout these negotiations, I’ve maintained that a primary focus of this bill must be Wisconsin’s small businesses and hardworking families that have been forced to upend their livelihoods to help slow the spread. Fortunately, this bill alleviates some of the burdens the “2.0” bill placed on Wisconsinites and gets cash immediately into the hands of those who need it most, both through one-time cash payments to hardworking families and expedited loans — that may be forgiven in some circumstances — to small businesses.
“Make no mistake, this bill is not perfect. Aside from the fact some of my colleagues used this crisis to fund unrelated priorities, there are legitimate questions surrounding the expansion of certain unemployment provisions and there are bound to be unintended consequences given the size of the bill and the speed at which it rightly moved in response to this crisis. And ultimately, given the cost of coronavirus, future Congress’ will need to step up and make tough decisions to get our fiscal house in order. Toward that end, we must immediately begin planning
for the next phase of this fight. What this bill and its price tag also makes clear is that indefinite lockdown is far too costly as a long-term strategy. We have bought ourselves time and we must use it wisely to prepare to win. Winning will mean keeping people safe, our healthcare system stable, and our economy thriving. With the right strategy and resources, we can do it all. It is time to go on offense and play to our unique strengths as a state. In Wisconsin we have an uncommon amount of common sense and community strength. Let’s engage both and shift to a bottom-up, community-based strategy, one that places our hope and faith in our neighbors — our healthcare professionals, workers, small businesses, churches and charities — and their ability to take care of each other in a time of crisis. Wisconsin can and must defeat this disease without defeating ourselves.”