Congressman Young talks about pandemic

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Congressman Don Young (R) said he did not support the House version of a $3 trillion stimulus package because it was a wish list for the left-wing.

    "It was a disaster, a money grab.  There were some good things in it but a lot of bad things," Young told a group from the Alaska Chapter of AARP.

    The event was meant to update the group on the federal governments response to the pandemic.

    It also asked questions about the precautions taken during this year's election and ways the Alaska delegation is helping businesses and residents deal with the pandemic.

    The House bill would send more aid to local and state governments and also provide another round of $1,200 payments to taxpayers.

    The bill also provided $25 billion to assist the struggling U.S. Postal Service and $3.6 billion to bolster election security efforts.

    Billions in rental assistance and mortgage relief were also included.

    Young listed expanded broadband in rural areas and COVID-19 testing as two big priorities during the pandemic.

    "I think testing is vital.  We put a lot of work into legislation to make sure we had testing in remote areas of Alaska," he added.

    Young said he voluntarily agreed to be tested twice.  He responded to a question about mandatory testing by stating that it would likely be a state issue.

    He also said efforts are underway to improve rural internet and help with telemedicine.

    "We are well aware of this.  I introduced a bill to authorize $2 billion to expand the rural health care program.  It is on the front burner of most legislators.  We understand the importance of having broadband in the rural areas of Alaska," he added.

    Young said he is hoping that schools will reopen in the fall.  "This graduating class this year will be down in history.  I'm willing to do anything at the federal level and we will get this done."


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