A group of nine members of Congress from both parties wants House and Senate leadership to keep in mind “the unique challenges facing the people who work in the U.S. oil and gas sector” as they craft relief legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Workers in the oil and natural gas industry, especially in the oilfield services sector, already have been hit with layoffs from the Russia-Saudi Arabia price war, the lawmakers said in a March 23 letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Majority and Minority Leaders of both the House and Senate.
“The dramatic reduction in production coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic leaves these hard-working men and women with an unprecedented challenge. Unable to search for new employment because of federal, state and local restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, they will face additional challenges in seeking new employment that makes this downturn unlike any we have experienced before…
“As various sector-specific proposals are considered to address the impacts of Covid-19, this sector and the people who work in it must be taken into account. We stand ready to work with you on behalf of the women and men who work throughout the industry for the benefit of all Americans.”
The letter was signed by Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Al Green (D-TX), Brian Babin (R-TX), Kendra Horn (D-OK) and Marc Veasey (D-TX).
Senate leaders and the White House reportedly agreed early Wednesday to a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the effects of the pandemic. The legislation would reportedly include direct payments and jobless benefits for individuals, and a $500 billion fund to bail out businesses hurt by the pandemic.