Member of Congress
I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. I want to update you on the latest action we've taken in Congress to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
First, I'm proud to report that yesterday, the House of Representatives passed my bill creating a new panel to ensure that coronavirus relief money is spent on the people who need it.
We are living through extraordinary times. Congress has appropriated trillions of taxpayers dollars out into our communities to deal with this crisis. That money should be going to small businesses and not big corporations. It should be going to workers and families, not the wealthy and well-connected. It should be spent efficiently and transparently, without waste, fraud, or price gouging.
The American people have a lot of questions about how this administration has responded to this crisis. They deserve answers. And they deserve to know their tax dollars are being well spent. Click below to watch my remarks on the House Floor about why Congress must ensure the money we've appropriated is spent on the people and businesses it was intended for.
Next, with my support, the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to build and improve upon the substantial relief afforded to local businesses and hospitals in the CARES Act.
Let me be clear. This bill was not perfect. There are things that I fought to get in the bill that weren't included. For example, I would have liked to have seen more clarity for small businesses about when money must be spent, especially given the uncertainty around when this crisis will end. I would also have liked to have seen increased eligibility for these programs.
Nevertheless, I'm proud that our majority successfully fought for and won:
• $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, with $60 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks, and credit unions so that companies who have preexisting relationships with large corporate banks don't get special treatment while many of our Main Street businesses get left behind;
• $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, which provide quick advances to small businesses that apply for loans of up to $2 million;
• $75 billion to provide funding and resources, like Personal Protective Equipment, to hospitals and health care workers operating on the front lines of the crisis;
• $25 billion to increase testing capacity in the United States and ramp up the collection of demographic data so we can identify and help those in need - particularly communities of color, who are being disproportionately impacted by this crisis.
The bills we passed yesterday are part of our overall response, but our work is not finished. There is still more work to be done to make the American people whole again. We need more testing to reopen America -- because we can't have a healthy economy unless we have healthy people. And we need to keep fighting to ensure federal dollars are going to those who need it most: mom and pop stores, women and minority owned businesses, frontline health care workers, and communities disproportionately impacted by the virus.
If you are a small business owner who was not able to access the Paycheck Protection Program before funding ran out, you should reach out to your lender immediately to find out if you need to reapply or if your application will automatically be processed now that funding is available again.
If you have additional questions, I want you to know that my office is here to help you in whatever way we can. You can find contact information for all my offices by clicking here, or you can email me by clicking here.