PITTSBURG, Kan. — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) was in town Tuesday, making stops at CDL Electric Company and EaglePicher Technologies to tour the facilities and the Pittsburg Rotary Club to deliver a keynote speech.
Moran said he was visiting Pittsburg to see and hear from constituents and local leaders about how the area was doing in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. He said he’d heard that CDL was an example of a business that made good use of the Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to keep employees on the payroll during the pandemic.
"I just wanted to check in, see how things were working, see how the program was working, see if it’s something that’s worth continued support, and just to make sure that things are OK and in the instances in which I might hear they’re not, figure out what I do to make them better," Moran said.
Moran said he expects Congress will pass another stimulus package in response to COVID-19, but it may not include as much spending as earlier rounds.
"There’s not enough taxpayer money, there’s not enough government programs that can keep an economy going just because of those programs," he said. "We need people back to work. What that means is people need to be able to return to work safely — feel that they’re safe, and that they are safe."
One area where government money could help get people back to work and improve the economic situation, Moran said, would be infrastructure funding.
"We need to invest in roads, bridges, highways, infrastructure related to, you know, the local sewer system and airport runways, things that have been kind of forgotten over the last several decades," he said.
"We need to do it anyway. We need to do it sometime, and if we would make those investments today it would help stimulate the economy on things that we’re going to have to spend money on in the future anyway."
Noting that he would also be touring EaglePicher’s local facility, Moran pointed out that he is a member of Senate subcommittees on defense appropriations and aviation and space.
"We want to make sure that things that happen here in Pittsburg, that EaglePicher has a good shot at doing business with the federal government," he said.
Along with everyone else on the tour of CDL Tuesday, Moran was wearing a facemask. He said he is in favor of local control of rules about wearing masks, as areas of the state vary in terms of the risk of exposure to COVID-19, but that taking measures to limit the spread of the virus is important.
Asked about Kansas Republican primary races for the state’s other seat in the U.S. Senate and the 2nd congressional district, Moran said he was not making any endorsements.
"I think Kansans can make those decisions without me weighing in," he said.