Nexstar California stations host virtual COVID-19 town hall with local leaders

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Watch a replay of the town hall in the video below

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Nexstar) – Congressional leaders weighed in on the road to recovery from the coronavirus in our town hall Wednesday night. 

Seven California Congressional members gathered for a virtual town hall.

  • U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-1)
  • U.S. Rep John Garamendi (D-3)
  • U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-4)
  • U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-15)
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-16)
  • U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-37)
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-49)

Due to restrictions on large gatherings, all of the guests remotely joined the broadcast and livestream. 

The HEROES Act kicked off the conversation — The $3-trillion COVID-19 relief fund proposal is under consideration in the U.S. Senate after passing the house earlier this month.

State leaders have said the funding could help avoid 25% of Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed state budget cuts.

Democratic members of Congress called for the Senate to act.

“We need states and communities to have the necessary money to protect the election process. With regard to unemployment insurance people are not going to go back to work next month, when unemployment benefits run out in July we must extend them,” Representative Garamendi said. 

“Three trillion dollars, you divide that by the number of households, that comes to about 23,000 dollars the average family will have to repay in their future taxes. We don’t have a dime of that. We have to go out and borrow it,” Representative McClintock said. 

As California and the rest of the country moves at different paces of reopening, lawmakers across the aisle agreed a one-size fits all approach for all counties does not work in responding to the pandemic.

“There’s a lot of fear factor being pushed with this so I think when we’re talking about reopening a church or many churches, there’s smart people that can figure out the protocol,” Representative LaMalfa said. 

“When it comes to opening whether it’s a church or restaurant, contact your public health officer, what’s the best way to go about it,” Representative Bass said. 

Representatives acknowledged the number of cases will continue to rise as testing ramps up.

Some are not ready to say if they think there will be another wave of the virus later this year.

Federal lawmakers say they need to make sure the country is prepared in the event a second wave hits.

Following the town hall, we broke down the big moments during a 30-minute digital post-show.

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