Rep. Mike Levin, who represents north San Diego and South Orange counties in Congress, delivered the national Democratic Party’s weekly address on Christmas Day.

“As we celebrate the holidays this year, we also mourn the loss of more than 320,000 Americans to this pandemic — including more than 5,500 veterans, a profound tragedy for our nation,” said Levin. “Each individual lost was somebody’s parent or grandparent, a son or daughter, a friend or co-worker who will be deeply missed, especially during this holiday season.”

But he praised the bipartisan Congressional agreement on new national relief payments, though it’s unclear whether President Trump will sign the package providing $600 stimulus checks.

“I’m proud that Democrats negotiated an emergency coronavirus relief and omnibus package to save lives and livelihoods and crush the virus,” Levin said. “This agreement is an important initial step, which we must build on under the Biden-Harris Administration.”

Levin, who is serving his second term representing the 49th District, chairs the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. He celebrated new legislation to improve veterans’ health care and benefits in the new year.

“This landmark legislation is the product of years of bipartisan work and the strong leadership of House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester,” Levin said. “It includes numerous legislative initiatives from dozens of House Democrats and provisions from nearly 60 House-passed bills.”

The Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 includes provisions introduced by Levin to expand Veterans Administration services for homeless veterans during the pandemic as well as assistance for students who are veterans.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.