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Politics and Government
Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

Katko on COVID-19 relief bill: ‘We’ve got to get it done’

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WRVO Public Media File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus).

Syracuse-area Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said it’s important that Congress pass some sort of COVID relief bill before the new year. He sees signals that Speaker Nancy Pelosi might be willing to come to terms on a package that would boost the economy and health care system, as the nation faces a surge of COVID-19 patients.

"Timing is everything,” Katko said. “The election is over. So, she’s not concerned about giving a win to Trump. The pandemic is raging, so I think she and Schumer are recognizing you’ve got to get something done.”

Katko supports legislation that would provide additional assistance for state and local governments, resources for COVID testing, unemployment support and a paycheck protection program, among other things.

“We’ve got small businesses teetering are on the verge of collapse,” Katko said. “We’ve got all kinds of serious health and structural problems going on because of COVID and the emergence of it. We’ve got to get it done, we’ve got to get it done now, we can’t wait.” 

On the presidential election

Katko said he’s thinking like a prosecutor, as he watches President Trump’s continued attempts to overturn the presidential election.

Katko said it appears Joe Biden has won the presidential election, and by the time the election is certified, he said that will be fact. In the meantime, he said the president has the right to pursue concerns and litigate the matter, but he has to back them up with facts.

"But like I said all along, show me the evidence,” Katko said. “If the evidence is there to overturn the election, that’s one thing. But I think the time to produce that evidence is coming to a close.”

Katko won his bid for a fourth term by ten percentage points, in a district that voted overwhelmingly for Biden. Results in the four-county 24th district were certified last week. They show Katko received 28,000 more votes than President Trump, whom Katko supported.