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Congress must act to keep America’s infrastructure strong

Congress must move quickly to approve a collection of bills that will help ensure the country’s economic infrastructure is in place and healthy enough to allow for a swift post-pandemic rebound.

In particular, Congress should approve the HR 7690 and S4233 which are collectively known as the “Logger Relief Package.” HR 7690 was introduced by North Carolina Republican Representative David Rouzer and Republican Senator Susan M. Collins of Maine. The package draws bipartisan support.

The American Loggers Congress (ALC) had proposed the legislation in May over concerns of reduced or lost markets due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Less demand for wood fiber results in fewer markets for loggers. A prolonged downturn could be devastating for the many small familyowned logging and log trucking businesses.

This could have a domino effect through rural communities in Wisconsin and elsewhere causing a potential cascade of broken businesses. While any business must be able to weather the ups and downs of the normal business cycle, the circumstances of this downturn are unique and potentially catastrophically disruptive to the country’s core logging infrastructure.

Logging is one of the fundamental tiers of the state economy and along with agriculture and manufacturing serves as a base-level economic generator transforming resources into income. They are a key link in the supply chain that ultimately employs tens of thousands of workers throughout the state and country.

The concern of the ALC and others is how long small businesses can tread water hoping for things to return to normal. Logging industry analysis predicts a two-year dip before logging recovers. Two years is a long time to tread water. If the base businesses go under, the entire supply chain could go with it.

The proposed Logger Relief Package would provide grant funds to allow these small businesses to meet their financial obligations and keep their businesses viable for the coming year as the economy rebounds.

Similar bipartisan measures have been proposed for other areas of the economy and they should likewise be supported. America has long been in the business of subsidizing essential industries, such as for the exploration of petroleum and natural gas, pharmaceutical companies developing new medications, and aviation through lucrative military contracts. It is time for Congress to look beyond bailing out multi-billion dollar companies and instead give a boost to small businesses who are disproportionally suffering under the prolonged economic impact of the pandemic.

America must be willing to invest in keeping its core infrastructure strong and functioning while faced with unique challenges. Contact Rep. Tom Tiffany and Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson and urge them to support the Logger Relief Package and other legislation that will help keep American supply chains strong.

Contact your officials: Rep. Tom Tiffany

Washington, DC Office 1714 Longworth House Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-3365 Wausau Office 2620 Stewart Ave. Suite 312 Wausau, WI 54401 Phone: 715-298-9344 Sen. Tammy Baldwin

Washington, DC Office 709 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-5653 Eau Claire Office 500 South Barstow Street, Suite LL2 Eau Claire, WI 54701-3608 Phone: (715) 832-8424 https://www.baldwin. Sen. Ron Johnson Washington D.C. Office 328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-5323 Fax: (202) 228-6965 Oshkosh Office 219 Washington Avenue Suite 100 Oshkosh, WI 54901 Phone: (920) 230-750 Fax: (920) 230-7262 www.ronjohnson.senate. gov