Republican Alek Skarlatos has taken some heat from Democratic opponent Peter DeFazio over a statement he made last month that he would oppose another COVID-19 relief package.

Skarlatos attended a Eugene Rotary meeting in September, where he was asked if he would support another pandemic relief bill.

His response was, “In short, no I do not, simply because I don’t believe in increasing the national debt by $2.5 trillion at a time. I mean that’s a huge increase.”

Skarlatos, 27, said concerns over the national debt are a priority for people his age and younger, and he wants to see it reduced not increased.

Skarlatos’ comments at the Rotary meeting drew fire from his Democratic opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio.

DeFazio supports additional COVID-19 relief for individuals and businesses.

“It is both cruel and completely unacceptable that Alek would completely abandon Oregonians whose lives, jobs, and health have been gravely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” DeFazio said in a statement this month.

In an interview with The News-Review on Wednesday, Skarlatos said he would support relief for small businesses, but not for big businesses. He said he would not support another round of federal unemployment checks for individuals.

“There are businesses that are trying to open whose employees will not come back because of the added unemployment benefits,” he said.

And he said he definitely wouldn’t support any package that cost more than $1 trillion. He said COVID-19 relief has already added more than $3 trillion to the debt this year.

“My point is this can’t go on forever,” he said.

He said soon it will be time to decide whether to rack up tens of trillions of dollars worth of debt or to just “figure out a way to open up and let the people get on with their lives.”

“If we do bail everyone out for the next, God knows, year or two years, then think about how much that’s going to add to the national debt,” he said. “And that’s going to be a much larger problem than even short-term economic woes that we are having to deal with currently.”

Skarlatos also said aid for schools would need to be decided on a case-by-case basis since he believes most will have lower costs during the pandemic when classes are online.

But he said he would support aid to hospitals, especially for personal protective equipment. He also said the federal government should work to bring manufacturing, especially of medications and PPE, to the United States.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(15) comments

garyd

He is worried that the unemployed will not return to work because they are making too much with benefits. If they don't return to work they will loose their unemployment benefits.

CitizenJoe

"If you're explaining, you're losing." -- old political adage, variously attributed to Reagan, Watts, others. Skarlatos is losing and has a lot of 'splainin' to do.

TJ

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Daniel

First UmpquaBob this article is about a candidate who would not give add to the unemployed or those hurting due to the pandemic which "can't go on forever." It will go on for a lot longer than it should have because the President's total lack of leadership and current policy of doing nothing as the numbers of ill and dieing increase again. And speaking of fake news, your accusations about the Bidens and Russian have disproven over and over with the exception of right wing conspiracy nuts on Fox, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Breitbart. Vote ByeDon!

sectorstar

I've seen political ads on tv where hes quoted saying he doesn't believe minimum wage should be mandated. Ironic considering he used to work at Costco, and probably would still be there if it wasn't for new celebrity status where no mandate on it would affect retail jobs. He doesn't seem to ever wanna admit that he worked at a "common persons" job though. You look at his background he'll give elseware and under his career he'll just list that his jobs consist as "actor and public speaker".

TJ

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CitizenJoe

So: Skarlatos is shallow and short-sighted. Any other breaking news?

TJ

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NJ

The 27-year-old is concerned about the National Debt. We get it. But for all his concern over an economy that's close to death based on how many Americans are suffering real financial hardship of lost jobs and inability to find further employment, unemployment benefits that have run out, foreclosure on unpaid mortgages, evictions from rentals, and desperation of how they will feed their kids today, someone forgot to ask Alek the real question.

Why Alek, do you support Trump when $273 million of the first Covid Relief was funneled to his favorite and largest campaign funders. AP reports: "FILE - As much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major donors to President Donald Trump's election efforts, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data that was released Monday, July 6, 2020. Irving, Texas-based M Crowd Restaurant Group, which owns 27 Texas restaurants including the Mi Cocina chain, was approved for between $5 million and $10 million." And that's only one.

In short Alek, your concern is real but to put it bluntly, you're part of the problem when you back the wrong horse. Trump is a criminal, plain and simple.

sources: https://apnews.com/article/00a34243825661313f2cb6a0f6a21720 - https://www.brookings.edu/research/addressing-the-other-covid-crisis-corruption/ - and https://www.citizen.org/news/keeping-500-billion-in-bailout-funds-secret/

Umpquabob

You call President Trump a criminal, more likely than not based on FAKE NEWS; yet you don't even whisper about Biden, his son(s), and his brother making multi-millions from the Moscow (Russia, not Idaho) Mayors wife, from a China government backed business Board of Directors, and Burisma, a Russian front business. I believe there is a short circuit in someone's thinking when they get so wrapped up in supporting a democratic party that doesn't exist any more.

I support President Trump BECAUSE he is the best candidate. Unfortunately, better democratic candidates were beat down by the democratic insider machine controlled by such money interests as Soros, Bloomberg, and other similar billionaires.

Mike

I understand the next Presidential debate is going to be moderated by Samuel L. Jackson and each candidate will be fitted with a dog shock collar.

I can already hear Mr. Jackson telling President Trump "shut the f**k up mother f**ker.....ZAP."

NJ

lol...a shock collar was the first thing I thought of after that sham of a debate. Easy to apply, easy to use, viola!, a civil debate!

NJ

Instead of a whisper about Hunter Biden and the debunked notion that he received money from Russia, how about a very loud shout: "Regarding the specific Moscow allegation, Alison Green, spokesperson for the minority on the Homeland Security Committee, and Keith Chu, spokesperson for the minority on the Finance Committee, issued a joint statement that said, "Democratic staff has reviewed all known information on file with the Committees, however, including the confidential document cited by the Republicans, and are aware of no information in the Committees’ possession showing Hunter Biden had any financial interest in this entity or transaction." from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/01/fact-check-unproven-claims-hunter-biden-got-3-5-m-russia/3586861001/ - and: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/10/giuliani-and-the-new-york-post-are-pushing-russian-disinformation-its-a-big-test-for-the-media/ - Now the ball is in your court to provide links about the "insider machine controlled by Soros, Bloomberg and other similar billionaires? I have no idea what your issue is with billionaires, Trump loves them so long as they give him money.

OregonHusker

Speaking of fake news....Thanks for regurgitating the garbage heard on Fox News night after night.

TJ

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