Message from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

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Dear Friend, 

Every day, members of our military bravely step forward to leave their homes behind and march towards the unknown. They put our nation's needs before their own, risking their lives so we can live ours. Many do not come home. On Monday, May 25⁠—Memorial Day⁠—let us remember the sacrifices of the servicemembers who've lost everything in defense of our national security.

ImageMaine has a proud history of military service. During the Civil War, Maine had more citizens join the Union Army than any other state. Currently, one out of every ten Mainers are veterans—placing our state at the top nationally for veterans per capita. I’m proud to represent a state whose residents have always valued selfless service to our nation. And I am grateful to our troops, veterans, and their families, all of whom have given so much in the name of our liberty.

Today I also want to recognize those we often do not thank outright on this day: the missing servicemembers whose families never got the chance to say goodbye; those who did not die in combat but died by suicide after returning home; the Gold Star families who lost a loved one in service. Their sacrifices were made so we could live in peace and safety.

ImageNormally, we’d recognize Memorial Day with parades to celebrate our freedom as Americans, and to remember those who died fighting for it. Though this year will look different than most, I hope each one of us can take a moment this Memorial Day to honor those who have given their lives so we could live ours. Our servicemembers have made tremendous sacrifices so we could be free—and for some, this includes their lives. We are here today thanks to those who cannot be. 

If any of your family or friends are interested in hearing from my office, please have them sign up for my newsletter here. My website is also updated with resources and congressional actions on COVID-19, located at pingree.house.gov/coronavirus. You can also check out my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.

Best,

Chellie


Update from Maine

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Governor Janet Mills announced yesterday that the State of Maine has now received $52.7 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. CDC. The State will use this funding to enhance its ability to prevent, detect, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Maine by expanding lab capacity and testing sites across Maine in the coming weeks and months. I joined my colleagues in the Maine delegation in advocating for this important funding because expanding this capacity will not only help protect Mainers’ health during this public health crisis, but also help safely reopen our communities. 


What Congress is Doing to Respond to the Coronavirus

Last week, I joined my House colleagues in passing the Heroes Act, a comprehensive bill to promote public health and protect the economy. An important provision in that bill would help to save the United States Postal Service by providing $25 billion in direct funding for the USPS as well as hazard pay for essential postal employees. The Post Office directly employs more than 3,300 Mainers and more than 100,000 veterans nationwide. 

ImageCommemorative stamps for Maine's bicentennial can be purchased online here.

The U.S. House of Representatives also passed a resolution to authorize proxy voting and remote committee work during this crisis. This historic provision will allow members of Congress to stay safe and healthy while continuing our critical work to provide relief for the American people. 


Frequently Asked Questions

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When will eligible Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Department of Veteran Affairs benefit recipients who are not required to file a tax return receive their Economic Impact Payment, aka stimulus check? Most Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who receive a Form SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 have already been issued their Economic Impact Payment. You can check Get My Payment application for the status of your Payment. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veteran benefit recipients will start receiving their Economic Impact Payments mid-May. They can check the Get My Payment application for the status of their Payment.


Resources and Community Updates

ImageStimulus check hasn’t shown up? Having trouble with the IRS website? Call 1-800-919-9835 – the new phone line established by the IRS to assist taxpayers with questions about their stimulus payments!

Maine chefs and local farms are stepping up the plate to help those in our state without enough to eat. The Portland Press Herald recently wrote about Cooking for Community, a grassroots group of Mainers looking out for each other in this crisis.

The Red Cross is in dire need of blood donations. You can sign up to give blood here

The Library of Congress and Portland Ovations are presenting a digital concert next Thursday, May 28. "Aural Exploration: Farrin, Fure, and Messiaen" will air at 7pm. RSVP here.

The IRS and the State of Maine are holding a COVID-19 Relief Town Hall discussion on Thursday, May 28, at 12pm. To attend, call (888)331-8226, Access Code 6688968. During this discussion, you can learn more about taxpayer relief, economic impact payments, and legal assistance available during this time.

The American Red Cross is launching a Virtual Family Assistance Center to support families struggling with loss and grief due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. You can access a support hub with special virtual programs, information, referrals and services to support families in need. The hub will also connect people to community resources provided by partners in their area. You can also call 833-492-0094 for help.

Don't forget to fill out your census! Online here. Only 50% of Mainers have filled out theirs so far.

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