Continuing the Work
Washington, June 26, 2020
COVID-19 has challenged us all. It forced us to re-think how we go about the simplest tasks. The impact to our daily lives has been felt in so many ways. Some have asked, what’s it like in Congress during this pandemic? While we may not physically be in Washington as often, each day continues to be filled with constituent meetings and legislative work. I am continuing to work toward improved and expanded broadband for our rural communities, blocking the use of federal funds for abortion, eliminating opioid addiction, and supporting our agricultural community with the flexibility needed to deliver the world’s food supply.
From the beginning of the stay-at-home order, and thanks to technology and planning, my office hasn’t skipped a beat. I immediately held a tele-townhall to give an update and answer questions on COVID-19. Shortly after, I held a second tele-townhall to share as much information as possible about the CARES Act and how it would assist businesses and constituents. Since that initial legislation, we’ve continued to make changes and improvements. Many of these changes are a result of feedback provided by you. For example, I heard from local businesses who found the original Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application to be complicated and unnecessarily long. Based on that input, I helped successfully lead an effort to streamline the loan forgiveness application.
I’ve always believed we should listen first, be thoughtful and then act. This approach allows me to best represent your voice in Congress. Throughout this pandemic I’ve spoken with local health officials about their needs to keep residents safe, local employers who so badly want to keep their doors open, farmers who supply-chains were halted, and those who needed to share their perspective about an issue. As you would expect during a time of uncertainty, there are a lot of questions and unique obstacles. In fact, my office has responded to more than 24,000 constituents during COVID-19. The office has helped get constituents back home from overseas, provide clarification for small-businesses and recover vital funds owed back to taxpayers.
As someone who has owned a small business, being frugal and a good steward of what you have is a way of life. That practice for me hasn’t changed as a Member of Congress. Hoosiers are still paying taxes and regardless of these unique times, I am focused on delivering constituent services and policy that supports and represents you. If you have a question, need assistance or want to share an idea, please call my office at 317-563-5567 or visit baird.house.gov.I want to reassure my fellow Hoosiers; the work isn’t stopping, and I will continue to serve you.
Congressman Jim Baird
Representing Indiana’s 4th Congressional District