March 23, 2020

Senators Warren, Markey, Murkowski, Sullivan Call on Senate Leadership to Support Fishermen & Their Families in Coronavirus Response

Text of Letter (PDF) 

Washington, DC  Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), along with Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), in leading a letter to Senate leadership calling for urgent support for fishermen and seafood processors as the fishing industry endures severe economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the vast amount of domestic seafood that is enjoyed in restaurants and exported to international markets, the closure of these markets from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused fishermen and seafood processors to face uniquely drastic economic impacts. As part of the urgently needed support, the letter highlights a variety of ways Congress can help the industry, including: establishing federal procurement programs for U.S. seafood products, federal fisheries disaster assistance funding, and the inclusion of support mechanisms for vessel loan payments assistance in any economy-wide coronavirus response package.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Senator Warren has pressed the Trump Administration to respond effectively to deliver the robust set of resources needed to address this emergency nationwide, including a faster expansion in diagnostic testing, medical supplies and care capacity, and support for state and local governments to be able to help people quickly. A week ago, she put out a plan to respond to the economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus crisis -- proposing at least $750 billion in stimulus money to save our economy and help families. Building on the proposals she laid out, she worked to ensure student loan debt cancellation and a critical increase in Social Security and disability benefits are a core part of the stimulus package Democrats negotiate. Senator Warren was also the first to lay out a detailed list of conditions tied to any taxpayer-funded bailouts, such as requiring companies to keep workers on payroll, implement a $15 minimum wage, permanently ban stock buybacks, prohibit CEO bonuses, and more. Her efforts are focused on ensuring stimulus money reaches the people who need it most in this crisis -- workers and families -- and bringing much-needed structural change to our economy.