Weekly Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Mary Gay Scanlon
6 min readMay 19, 2020

This week, I was back in DC to help pass the next pandemic relief bill. While the Senate Majority and White House have said they want to “take a pause” in providing relief to Americans, we know that our country is still in crisis, and that hunger and household bills don’t take a pause. The Heroes Act aims to put people first by providing much needed relief to Pennsylvania families, businesses— and all Americans — as we continue to navigate this pandemic together.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Headed back to D.C. to work on Pandemic Relief Bill

In the past two months, my office has fielded thousands of calls for help, and we’ve hosted multiple virtual town halls so that we hear from PA5 constituents. You said loud and clear that families need more help to pay their rent and bills, that our front line workers still need supplies and support to do their jobs safely, and that small businesses are struggling to get access to funds allocated by Congress.

We heard you, and worked with Congress to include the relief you need in the next round of #COVIDー19 legislation:

  • Direct cash to families
  • Funding for state & local governments
  • Hazard pay for essential workers
  • Investment in testing & contact tracing
  • Expanded small business support & unemployment benefits
  • Support for essential government functions, like the post office and elections

The Heroes Act is an investment in our front-line workers and the American people as we navigate this ongoing crisis. Our health care workers, transit workers, first responders, grocery store employees, postal workers, children, and families are worth it.

Participated in House Rules Committee Hearings on:

  1. H. Res. 965 — Remote Voting and Remote Committee Proceedings Resolution
  2. H.R. 6800 — Heroes Act

We debated and passed an emergency rules change to allow virtual hearings and. proxy voting during the pandemic. While Congress must perform essential governmental duties, it can do so without having all members physically present. Congress can serve the people while keeping everyone safe. American lives depend on it.

Listen to what I had to say here: https://twitter.com/repmgs/status/1260993231468331009?s=21

Pushed For Answers After PA Apparently Not Allocated Remdesivir, COVID-19 Treatment

Two weeks ago, Gilead Sciences, the maker of Remdesivir, announced that it was donating 607,000 doses (or enough to treat approximately 78,000 patients) of the life-saving drug to the federal government.

From the outset, it was unclear how this treatment would be distributed and by whom, FEMA or HHS, and what criteria would be used to make these determinations. Distribution of Remdesivir began last week, but large shipments were sent to areas with low rates of infection while regions with thousands of hospitalized patients received nothing — including Pennsylvania.

By week’s end, Pennsylvania had received over 200 cases of Remdivisir.

With the COVID19 virus disproportionately impacting metropolitan areas in the Mid-Atlantic, the Philadelphia region has been hit harder by COVID-19 than the rest of the Commonwealth, with the three counties that I represent having almost 70,000 confirmed infections and at least 2000 deaths. With our healthcare infrastructure pushed to its limits, it is crucial for the hospitals in our region to have supplies of Remdesivir to treat critically ill patients.

Read more here: https://medium.com/@repmgs/scanlon-pushes-for-answers-after-pa-apparently-not-allocated-remdesivir-covid-19-treatment-5bf1a4159ec8

Delco Times: https://www.delcotimes.com/news/coronavirus/scanlon-demands-supplies-of-remdesivir-for-coronavirus-treatments/article_981303aa-947b-11ea-a7a0-27f64c028346.html

Participated in House Judiciary Virtual Roundtable on ICE’s Response to COVID-19

We’ve seeing a fundamental lack of common sense when it comes to this administration’s management of this pandemic, including failing to address COVID-19 outbreaks in ICE facilities, and spreading the virus by transporting detainees.

In order to reduce the risk of infection to detainees — who are generally awaiting adjudication of their asylum claims (not criminal charges) — and the surrounding communities — ICE should reinstate procedures used safely by prior administrations, including release without bond and/or alternatives to detention for those who pose no threat to public safety or national security, particularly those who are at a heightened risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19, such as the elderly.

Listen to our discussion here: https://twitter.com/repmgs/status/1260635554015842305?s=21

Celebrated Mother’s Day Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Million Mom March in D.C

20 years ago today, on Mother’s Day, I organized members of my community to join the Million Mom March in DC to demand action to end gun violence.

We marched alongside parents who had buried children, parents who were afraid for their kids to play outside and go to school, and community members ready for our representatives to take action. 20 years later, we are still in this fight.

One of the reasons I came to Congress, along with many of my colleagues, was to fight for common sense gun safety — to protect our children, our families, and our communities. It has been over 1 year since we passed common sense gun safety measures in the House.

Read more about that historic day here: https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/498009-behind-every-gun-law-is-a-mom-marching-for-her-children

Participated in POWER Town Hall on Race and COVID-19, and the Next Stimulus Bill

I was proud to join my colleagues Rep. Dwight Evans, Rep. Madeleine Dean, Rep. Susan Wild, and Senator Bob Casey to discuss how we are addressing the lack of resources to fight COVID-19 in communities of color for testing, treatment, and recovery.

Ensuring that our healthcare centers, hospitals, medical workers, and programs like Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP are well funded is something that we must press for in these funding bills, but also long term.

I was also grateful for the opportunity to discuss how The Heroes Act removes artificial barriers to support for students, taxpaying immigrants, and small businesses. Stimulus payments are meant to support families and to inject money into the economy; holding that aid back from millions of taxpayers and families only makes the road to recovery that much longer.

Listen to our conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/2317303261926393/posts/2798047763851938/

Called for Inspector General Investigation into Attorney General Barr’s Politicization of Department of Justice

Michael Flynn lied to the Vice President and the FBI and then admitted it in court, under oath. Attorney General Barr’s decision to drop the case against Flynn, a prominent ally of the President, is an unprecedented politicization of the Department of Justice and a breach of the rule of law.

Read our letter here: https://twitter.com/housejudiciary/status/1258835490532405248?s=21

Thank you for everything you are doing to keep our community safe and healthy! As always, if you have any questions please call our office at 610— 626 — 2020, or visit us online at https://scanlon.house.gov/.



Mary Gay Scanlon

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.