Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) joined us on Thursday, taking listener phone calls across Montana as we talked coronavirus impacts and economic stimulus measures being discussed on Capitol Hill.

Gianforte says he has been spending his days talking to health officials, small business owners, ranchers, and others in the state. Right off the bat, he stressed that our country is going to get through this crisis.

GIANFORTE: We're in unfamiliar territory, but I am confident that this will pass, and we're gonna get through it. If we follow the precautions that the CDC has laid out, we can limit the spread of this virus.

Regarding funding and economic stimulus packages, Gianforte says the phase 1 legislation is an $8 billion funding package that allowed for more diagnostic tests to become available, provided additional resources to the CDC, and broke down barriers for telehealth. He says the phase 2 measure that passed Wednesday waives all the testing fees, provides for sick leave, and emergency funding for unemployment.

GIANFORTE: As we look at additional economic stimulus, we have to keep two things in mind. One, this crisis is gonna pass. We don't know exactly how long it's going to last, but when we come out of it, we've gotta make sure first that families and individuals can stay on their feet...government's gotta step in and help there.

 

Gianforte also says restaurants, bars, and businesses impacted by the loss of tourism need to be able to get back on their feet once the virus passes.

Click below to listen to the full chat: