Kaptur Votes to Pass Emergency Coronavirus Bill
Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee, voted in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, emergency legislation to support small businesses and their workers, hospitals, healthcare professions, and expand COVID-19 testing amid the coronavirus outbreak. Ahead of the vote on the bill, Rep. Kaptur delivered the following speech on the floor of the House in favor of the bill’s passage:
“Madam Speaker, this economic boost is desperately needed as our nation is on a dangerous precipice,” said Rep. Kaptur. “The bill offers hope to millions and millions of Americans, small businesses, hospitals, and those on the frontlines. Though I am troubled by limited insight in how the last two trillion dollars was spent and why so much has yet to be disbursed. It seems little went to those who need it most, while those with access had their takings. Unfortunately, today’s bill drastically shortchanges America’s local communities and first responders as calls and pressure to reopen mounts, but without data it’s short sighted. It also offers no assistance to our postal service, whose jobs hang in the balance. Congress must move America forward a step at a time. Lives are at stake. I urge all my colleagues to vote for this important bill.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, Rep. Kaptur led letters to Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urging the certification of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s (NOACA) and Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments’ (TMACOG) requests for direct federal funding from the Department of the Treasury through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Many cities and counties in Northern Ohio, with the exception of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, lack direct access to relief mechanisms enacted by the CARES Act. As a result, many communities in Northern Ohio will not receive direct assistance through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and thus are faced with the decision to cut life-saving services while they wait for assistance. While Rep. Kaptur is disappointed today’s legislation does not provide a legislative fix, she will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to ensure communities across Northern Ohio receive the coronavirus response funding they deserve.
Key Provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act
- Strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program by providing $310 billion in additional funding, more than the $250 billion requested by Sen. McConnell.
- Makes improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by setting aside $60 billion within PPP to ensure access to this assistance for many small businesses in underserved rural and urban areas that have been unable to participate in the program so far.
- Expands small business support beyond the PPP program by securing $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion for SBA disaster grants.
- Provides $75 billion for our hospitals and our health care workers, which can be used to meet such needs as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our brave health care workers.
- Provides $25 billion to expand COVID-19 testing, which is the key to reopening our economy and resuming our lives. Also requires the Administration to submit to Congress a federal COVID-19 strategic testing plan.
Small Business Provisions
- The Need to Improve the Paycheck Protection Program: This bill includes key improvements to expand access to assistance for small businesses in underserved areas, including rural, minority-owned, and underbanked businesses. We have heard from small business owners across the country who, because they didn’t have a pre-existing relationship with a larger bank or because the lender in their community is not participating in the program, have been unable to access PPP funding.
- Key Funding to Make Improvements to PPP: The bill makes key improvements in the PPP program that will provide access to underserved small businesses and nonprofits who have been unable to access PPP funds up until now. These improvements include:
- $60 Billion Set-Aside for Smaller Lenders: The bill provides a $60 billion set-aside within PPP for small and mid-sized banks and credit unions as well as community-based lending institutions. This set-aside funding will help ensure that unbanked and underserved businesses can get access to PPP. This includes minority-owned businesses, rural businesses, small mom and pop businesses, and smaller nonprofits that too often have been pushed to the back of the line.
- The $60 Billion Set-Aside Is Broken Down as Follows:
- $30 Billion to Community-Based Lenders: $30 billion will be dedicated to community-based lenders, specifically including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions, SBA microlenders, certified development companies/SBA 504 lenders, as well as the smallest credit unions and banks with assets under $10 billion.
- $30 Billion to Mid-Sized Lenders: $30 billion will be dedicated to mid-sized credit unions and banks with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion.
- The $60 Billion Set-Aside Is Broken Down as Follows:
- $50 Billion for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, Which Has Also Run Out of Funding: This emergency loan program provides flexible assistance to COVID-19-affected small businesses to cover operating expenses, including payroll and fixed costs like rent and utilities. This program is facing the same high demand as PPP. Indeed, SBA announced it was no longer accepting applications for this program because it had run out of funding. This bill provides $50 billion in EIDL program subsidy that will support over $350 billion in new disaster loans directly from SBA. The original McConnell bill did not provide any funding for the EIDL program.
- $10 Billion for SBA’s EIDL Grant Program, Which Has Also Run Out of Funding: The bill provides $10 billion for the EIDL grant program, which offers up to $10,000 in cash advances for immediate relief to small businesses and eligible nonprofits that apply for an EIDL loan. The cash advance does not have to be paid back. The original McConnell bill did not provide any funding for the grant program.
- A Provision Making Farmers and Other Agricultural Enterprises Now Eligible for the EIDL Program: The bill adds agricultural enterprises under 500 employees as an eligible recipient for grants of up to $10,000 and low-interest loans of up to $2 million through the SBA’s EIDL program. The original McConnell bill did not include this provision.
Provisions for Hospitals, Healthcare Workers, and Testing
- $75 Billion for Hospitals and Health Care Workers: The bill provides $75 billion to reimburse hospitals and other health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. This funding can be used for such purposes as desperately needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our health care workers. This funding is in addition to the $100 billion that was provided for this same purpose in the CARES Act. The original McConnell bill did not include any funding for hospitals and health care workers.
- Within 30 Days of Enactment, This Legislation Requires A Federal COVID-19 Strategic Testing Plan: The bill requires the Secretary of HHS, no later than 30 days after the date of enactment, to submit to Congress a COVID-19 Strategic Testing Plan. The plan is to focus on increasing domestic testing capacity including testing supplies. The plan is to be updated every 90 days. The plan must include the following:
- Assistance to states, localities, territories, tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian health organizations in testing for both active infection and prior exposure, including hospital-based testing, high-complexity laboratory testing, point-of-care testing, mobile testing, and other settings.
- An estimate of testing production, including new technologies.
- Guidelines for testing.
- A plan to increase domestic testing capacity, including testing supplies.
- A plan to address disparities in testing.
- Outline the federal resources available to support the testing plans of each state, locality, territory, tribe, tribal organization, and urban Indian Health organization.
- Within 21 Days of Enactment, This Legislation Requires A Federal Report With Demographic Data on COVID-19: The bill requires the Secretary of HHS, no later than 21 days after the date of enactment, to submit a report to Congress on the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths related to COVID-19, including de-identified data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, age, sex, geographic region, and other relevant factors. The report must be updated every 30 days.
- Within 180 Days of Enactment, This Legislation Requires An Additional Federal Report with Demographic Data on COVID-19: The bill requires the Secretary of HHS, no later than 180 days after the date of enactment, to submit a report to Congress on the number of positive diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths as a result of COVID-19, including data disaggregated nationally by race, ethnicity, age, sex, geographic region, and other relevant factors. The report must also include an epidemiological analysis of such data.
- $25 Billion for Expenses Related to Expanding COVID-19 Testing: This funding includes covering expenses related to research, development, validation, manufacturing, purchasing, administering, or expanding capacity for COVID-19 testing. The original McConnell bill did not include any funding for expanding testing.
- The $25 billion includes the following:
- $11 Billion for States, Localities, Territories, and Tribes for COVID-19 Testing and Related Activities: The $11 billion can be used for necessary expenses to develop, purchase, administer, process and analyze COVID-19 tests, including support for the workforce, epidemiology, use by employers, scaling up testing, conducting surveillance, conducting contact tracing, and other related testing activities.
- $1 Billion for CDC: The $1 billion is to be used for surveillance, epidemiology, contact tracing, and other activities to support testing.
- $1.8 Billion for NIH: The $1.8 billion is to be used to accelerate development of point-of-care and rapid diagnostic technologies.
- $1 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA): The $1 billion is to be used to accelerate development of point-of-care and rapid diagnostic technologies.
- $22 Million for FDA: The $22 million is to be used by FDA for its role in accelerating development and approval of point-of-care and rapid diagnostics technologies.
- $600 Million for Community Health Centers: The $600 million for Community Health Centers is to be used to support COVID-19 testing.
- $225 Million for Rural Health Clinics: The $225 million for Rural Health Clinics is to be used to support COVID-19 testing.
- $1 Billion for Testing for the Uninsured: This $1 billion is to cover the cost of testing the uninsured.