Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter Thursday to congressional leadership and the Trump administration urging lawmakers to come to an agreement on another coronavirus relief bill before the end of the year.
"As the first state in the nation hit by COVID-19, Washington state has aggressively confronted the virus from the beginning of the pandemic, taking difficult but necessary measures to save lives,” Inslee wrote. “We do not take these measures lightly. We are painfully aware that these steps, guided by science, will increase hardship for families, workers, and businesses that are already suffering. But we must act now and act quickly to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and to save the lives of our fellow Washingtonians.”
Inslee asked for a package including restoration and extension of pandemic unemployment benefits, aid for state and local governments, renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program, funding for contract tracing and funding for housing and food assistance, schools and broadband internet.
"The federal government now has a responsibility to act as well,” Inslee wrote. “Hundreds of thousands of our residents are already struggling with joblessness, hunger, and housing insecurity, and have watched multiple forms of federal relief expire or be exhausted since the summer.”
Inslee noted that much of the CARES Act expires at the end of 2020.
"Americans will face irreparable harm if small businesses, families, workers, and state and local governments are forced to confront the coming months without immediate federal action,” Inslee concluded. “Only Congress can provide the size and scale of relief needed in the moment."