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Postal issues still plague district

By Congressman A. Donald McEachin

Last month, I hosted a series of open forums for my constituents. One of these was a telephone town hall to address tax questions and concerns. As you may have heard, both the federal government and the commonwealth of Virginia have extended the tax deadline until May 17, 2021, for 2020 taxes. With the impact of COVID-19 and relief measures passed by Congress, this is a much-needed extension as taxes have unfortunately become more complicated. I was pleased that Craig Burns, the Virginia Tax Commissioner, and Kimina Harris, a representative of the Taxpayer Advocacy Service, joined us to provide informative answers and offer resources for further information.

In another forum hosted last month on Zoom, we discussed COVID-19 and the vaccination process with Dr. Danny Avula, who was selected by Gov. Ralph Northam to oversee the process. If you have not yet joined us, I hope you can participate in a future event soon as I continue to host them this year. I would like to use these as an opportunity to hear your concerns and answer your questions. My hope is that we can begin in-person town halls soon as people get vaccinated and the pandemic recedes.

My staff and I are also eager to attend events and hear from you regarding pending issues. You can still voice your opinions on issues at any time by going to my website, mceachin.house.gov to share your thoughts. To invite me or a member of my staff to an event, virtual or in person, or if you are having a problem with a federal agency, please fill out the request form on our website and a constituent services representative will contact you promptly.

Unfortunately, postal issues are still plaguing the district. I have written to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to strongly recommend that Postmaster Louis deJoy be replaced. During his tenure, mail delivery has unaccountably and unacceptably slowed tremendously. These mail slowdowns are simply unacceptable, and I intend to stay intimately involved in resolving this ongoing problem.

This has been a busy month in Congress with the passage of numerous bills in the House. Most importantly, we passed the American Recovery Act, which allocated critical funding to recover from the pandemic. The legislation was passed by the Senate and signed by President Biden after strong bipartisan support from around the country.

Right here in Virginia, the impact will be substantial, as it provides for up to $1,400 payments to more than 80% percent of all adults and children in the state. The American Recovery Act will also boost the Child Tax Credit by providing additional finical support for more than 1.5 million Virginia children, lifting 85,000 of them out of poverty.

Moreover, additional relief of almost $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit will help over 400,000 workers without children. Many of these workers are essential and work frontline jobs. Due to this Act, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimates that middle class families will see over 5% increase in income.

The bill also has significant funding for our schools as we strive to get our children and teachers back in the classroom, but in a safe and healthy way. Funding is also provided for vaccine distribution and access to ensure that all Americans have an opportunity to get vaccinated, sooner rather than later, so our country can reopen and we can return to a version of normalcy.

In Virginia, the localities of our congressional district are netting over $280 million in financial support while our state government will receive almost $4 billion. This funding is essential as we work to get our children back in school, get vaccines in arms, treat COVID-19 patients and jumpstart our economy after this once-in-a-century pandemic.

Congressman A. Donald McEachin represents Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.