NEW YORK STATE (WROC) — Congressmembers from across New York took questions and concerns from the community and shared what they think it will take to get the state’s economy moving again.

With New York accounting for nearly one-third of all U.S. deaths, and 30% of all coronavirus cases, the representatives said New York is the epicenter of pandemic. They say everyone wants the state to open, but it must be done safe and smart.

MORE: Watch full COVID-19 Congressional Town Hall here

Both the Senate and House are scheduled to return to Washington next week. The hot topic there: another coronavirus relief package. With this new legislation, Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY 25th District) says his top priority is state and local government funding, and thinking long-term.

“If we’re going to start to re-emerge from this, we’re going to have to have some simulative effect, so I think an infrastructure bill, which will have significant impacts not only on our transportation system, but I’d like to see us adjust broadband. We’ve seen that both in healthcare, where we’re looking to do more telemedicine and telehealth, and when it comes to education,” Morelle said.

With some 26 million Americans out of work, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12th District), has stated she wants to talk about a guaranteed income for all Americans. Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd District), said that’s not sustainable. 

“I support work, I support the concept of hard work. I support the idea that if you think government can provide relief to you from the cradle to the grave, that is a fundamental disagreement that I have. Universal income is of that ilk.”

When it comes to getting back to work, Congressman John Katko (R-NY 24th District) said he’s focused now on short and long term solutions. 

“We need to have great testing and we need to have it everywhere to re-open the economy. We have to have the contact tracing right away.”

Long term, Katko wants to expand tax breaks for manufacturing. He said New Yorkers need the jobs. “Bring those businesses back from overseas, especially from China.”

All Congressmembers said New York is one of the economically strongest states and a New York that’s humming along again, means a strong America.