What Matters Most to Easton: Jim Himes Responds

1. What do you believe is the single most important issue facing Easton voters and why?

The first item on my agenda is stabilizing our health care relief system. As of Oct. 14, Connecticut has had over 60,000 cases of COVID-19, with over 4,500 resulting in death. In Fairfield County alone, we lost nearly 1,500 of our citizens to this virus. When the pandemic-induced recession hit in June, 6.9 million workers lost their jobs, and with them, their employer-sponsored health insurance.

When we factor in dependents, 14.6 million people are struggling without health insurance. When someone in Easton loses their job because of COVID, we need to make sure employers provide subsidies during the initial job search, so people may keep their coverage despite unemployment.

This effort will require coordinated intervention in order to keep our citizens healthy. This past year, I’ve secured $135 million for hospitals around the Fourth District. I’ve also encouraged bipartisan legislation to provide relief for our unemployed. But there’s still work to be done. We need Congressional support for unemployment insurance, for PPE and medical supplies and for our schools. I’ve supported every House attempt to negotiate with the administration and the Senate, and it’s imperative that we make a deal.

2. What is the second most important issue?

Congress has a responsibility to support our citizens’ economic well-being as well as their physical well-being. I supported the $2 trillion CARES Act that stabilized our economy, provided necessary support to hospitals, assisted our states’ response, and approved loans for small businesses. I brought home over $1.4 billion in PPP loans for our district, assisting over 16,000 small businesses, 160 businesses and nonprofits, which protected over 140,000 jobs. 

Providing small businesses with much-needed capital during COVID-19 is crucial to keep our economy afloat. Supporting our local businesses, and the families and communities they serve is a top priority for me and for Easton.

3. Why should Easton voters support you on Nov. 3?

Over my terms in Congress, I have been a steadfast voice for common-sense, independent solutions to national and state challenges. I have advocated for our middle class and I fought for accessible and affordable health care for all. I have created opportunities for our working families, in times of both economic boom and economic stagnation. I’ve been a steady voice in support of our national security. Most importantly, I put the needs of all of my constituents over partisan politics, and I have consistently reached across the aisle in order to support both our state and our people.

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