DeFazio Votes in Support of Additional COVID-19 Relief Funding for Small Businesses and Hospitals
Rep. Peter DeFazio today voted in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, legislation to provide additional COVID-19 relief funding to Oregon’s small businesses as well as hospitals and health care providers.
“The Paycheck Protection Program has provided Oregon’s small businesses a critical lifeline as they deal with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, but it was clear that more assistance to small businesses was needed ” said Rep. Peter DeFazio. “With passage of this legislation, we’ll add more than $300 billion to the PPP, and I’m proud that Democrats were able to secure $60 billion for small and mid-sized banks, credit unions, and community-based lending institutions to ensure that unbanked and underserved businesses that have been pushed to the back of the line can access this vital program.
“While I believe even more funding is needed, I’m also pleased the bill includes $75 billion in relief to hospitals and health care providers to cover expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19, and $25 billion to expand our nation’s COVID-19 testing capacity, $11 billion of which will go directly to states and localities to help them bolster testing shortfalls in their communities. Widespread testing is the key to fighting this virus, reopening the economy, and above all else, protecting the health and wellbeing of Americans so that we can safely begin to resume our normal lives.
“Unfortunately, despite bipartisan support for additional funding, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans refused to add any additional funding for state, local, and tribal governments, who are on the front lines of this crisis. I will continue to push for greater and direct investment in state and local entities in any subsequent relief legislation. I will also continue to push for strengthening SNAP benefits, investments in our Postal Service, additional economic impact payments, implementation of an OSHA emergency temporary standard to strengthen protective measures for our front-line workers, funding for hazard pay for these individuals, and more.”
The interim emergency funding package provides $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion of which will be set aside for unbanked and underserved small businesses that have been unable to participate in the program so far.
In addition, the bill includes:
- $25 billion to expand COVID-19 testing, as well as a requirement that the Trump administration submit a federal strategic testing plan to Congress;
- $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers which can be used to meet urgent needs to fight this pandemic, as well as to prevent layoffs and make up for lost revenues due to cancelation of non-urgent medical procedures;
- $50 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans for small businesses and non-profits; and
- $10 billion for the SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants, cash advances that provide immediate relief that do not need to be repaid.
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