Sen. Markey, Mayor Rivera Urge Congress To Pass COVID-19 Relief Bill


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Senator Ed Markey was in Lawrence Sunday afternoon, where he and Mayor Dan Rivera called on Congress to pass a COVID-19 relief package that would provide $1 trillion dollars to help U.S. cities and towns during the pandemic.

Mayor Dan Rivera said the people of Lawrence wouldn’t be putting that money under their mattresses; they’ll be using it to pay for essentials like rent and food.

"I'm not really sure what the confusion is," he said. "I don't know anybody who said 'Oh, I took my first relief funding and just kept it.' People literally got the cards in the mail and went and bought milk the next moment."

Mayor Rivera said the city of Lawrence had to use $1 million dollars of its own money for COVID-19 testing.

Senator Markey said Lawrence has had the highest unemployment rate in Massachusetts since the pandemic began, at 21 to 23 percent, and if Congress doesn’t approve the money, cities like Lawrence will face a second Great Depression.

"I'm going back down to Washington this week in order to stand up and fight for Lawrence, and to fight for all the communities like Lawrence who need help," Markey said. "The essential workers in Lawrence are heroes, but heroes need help."

Sen. Markey also said Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham set a precedent in 2016 when they said no Supreme Court vacancy should be filled in an election year. He said if they violate that precedent by replacing Justice Ginsburg before the next president is elected, they’ll face the consequences.

WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville reports:

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