Small Business Loans Available; 2nd Covid-19 Relief Law Signed; News about Masks and Personal Protective Equipment for Health-Care Workers
I’m happy to have some good news to share. Many of you have asked about loans to help the small businesses that are hurting due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The U.S. Small Business Administration has made low-interest loans available to small businesses and eligible nonprofits in Pennsylvania.
You can start the application process by clicking here. Gov. Tom Wolf’s news release can be viewed here.
As vice chair of the House Small Business Committee, I will be introducing and co-sponsoring additional legislation to help our nation’s small businesses during this difficult time. I’ll provide an update on that soon.
Since there are many fast-changing aspects to the coronavirus situation and the federal, state and local response, I invite you to follow my updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Second Covid-19 Relief Bill Signed into Law
Early Saturday, I voted for the second Covid-19 relief bill as the House passed it. Following Senate passage on Wednesday, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law.
This new law includes several important features:
● Free testing for coronavirus: The new law ensures that all individuals, including those with private insurance, Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will have access to tests at no cost.
● Strengthened food assistance: It includes more than $1 billion to provide nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, help food banks, and provide meals to seniors. It also protects students’ access to school meals in the event of school closures.
● Safeguards Medicaid benefits: It increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) that the federal government provides to state and territorial Medicaid programs. This will prevent states from cutting Medicaid benefits.
● Enhances unemployment aid: It gives states the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave.
● Establishes paid leave: It establishes an Emergency Paid Leave Program that replaces a significant share of lost wages so that those who take leave to avoid spreading the virus or due to illness or caregiving responsibilities can pay their bills.
In addition, most members of Congress from both sides of the aisle recognize the need for further action to help the American people and our economy in this challenging time. The House and Senate have already begun working out details of a third major Covid-19 relief bill. I have heard from many of you about concerns and priorities for this bill, and I will keep your views and needs in mind as this and future legislation moves through Congress.
Masks and Personal Protective Equipment for Health-Care Workers
One of the concerns I have heard about the most is the need for our health-care providers to have enough masks and other personal protective equipment.
I want you to know that I share these concerns and support Speaker Pelosi’s call for the administration to put the Defense Production Act to much fuller use to help our health-care providers get the protection they need.
I am deeply grateful to our health-care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees, and everyone who is helping to get us through this outbreak. I will continue listening to the concerns of Philadelphians and working to represent you both here and in Washington.
Member of Congress