U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) returned to Washington D.C. and voted in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which will increase funding for small businesses, hospitals, and nationwide testing amid the coronavirus pandemic. The bill passed the House 388-5-1.
“This robust emergency funding package — although imperfect — is necessary to combat the coronavirus and provide critical resources to protect the American people while also ensuring that small businesses survive the ensuing economic fallout from this dreaded disease,” said Rep. Rush. “Given my record of fighting for smaller banks, credit unions, and minority depository institutions, I was particularly pleased to see that this package specifically allocates $60 billion to these critical community lenders.
“With that being said, this package does not go nearly far enough to address all the needs of struggling businesses and individuals in my district and across the country. I am also concerned that the $25 billion included to increase nationwide testing is not enough if we are to fully contain this virus until a vaccine is developed. Instead, we need a movement, supported by significant funding for testing and contact tracing, if we are serious about defeating this virus.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a more comprehensive package in the coming days and weeks. Congress must do more, and I stand ready to provide the assistance my community needs.”
The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provides $310 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, with $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks, and credit unions and $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions. The bill would also secure an additional $50 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster lending and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants.
For hospitals and health care workers, the bill provides an additional $75 billion in funding for resources to frontline healthcare workers, including personal protective equipment.