Wexton Votes to Pass Bipartisan Emergency Funding Package for Small Businesses, Hospitals, and Testing
Washington, April 23, 2020
Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass a COVID-19 interim emergency funding package that delivers relief for small businesses, provides critical resources for hospitals and health care providers, and expands testing capacity.
“This emergency funding will deliver critical relief for Virginia’s small businesses and supply our frontline health care workers with resources they need to combat this virus,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “While overdue and necessary -- this legislation doesn’t do nearly enough to address the challenges facing our communities. Small businesses need better access to funding, families need more direct assistance, and states and localities are in desperate need of money in order to prevent cuts to essential services. If our goal is to save lives and livelihoods, Congress must move with greater urgency and with working families in mind.”
The interim emergency legislation includes $310 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and another $50 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program Account, along with $10 billion in new funding for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Grants. Of the new small business relief funding, $30 billion is reserved for community-based lenders, small banks, and credit unions and another $30 billion is reserved for medium-sized banks and credit unions. Provisions are also included to ensure that eligible agricultural businesses are able to take advantage of these small business programs.
Congresswoman Wexton has made it a priority to ensure that small businesses are able to maintain their operations and keep employees on payroll during this crisis. Wexton has worked with local small businesses and banks and lenders, including hosting a virtual town hall with the SBA to help Virginia-10 businesses navigate the application process for PPP and EIDL loans. Wexton’s office is also encouraging constituents to request letters of support for EIDL funds and letters of introduction for PPP loans. After conducting a survey of nearly 200 Virginia-10 small businesses to get feedback from constituents about the implementation of PPP and EIDL loans, Wexton pressed the SBA for answers and urged them to address the troubled rollout of the programs.
The legislation also includes $75 billion to reimburse hospitals and health care providers for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue. Another $25 billion is allocated for testing, of which $11 billion will go directly to states and localities to expand capacity. Wexton has repeatedly called on the administration to make use of the Defense Production Act to address the critical need for PPE for all frontline workers.
Congress also voted to establish a bipartisan Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to oversee that the funding is managed carefully and spent effectively to help those who are sick and get relief to those who desperately need it. The Committee will have the power to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, protect against price gouging and profiteering, and ensure that the federal response to COVID-19 is guided by science and our nation’s health experts.
The full text of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act can be found here.
The full text of the resolution to establish a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis can be found here.