Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard Votes for Coronavirus Relief Legislation to Help Americans & Save Lives

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Washington, April 23, 2020 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Today, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) voted for an interim package of emergency funding to protect the American people during the coronavirus crisis, including billions of dollars for coronavirus testing, hospitals, and health workers, as well as access to funding for vulnerable small businesses in urban and rural areas.  She also voted to establish a bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, to help ensure an efficient, effective, and science-based federal response to this pandemic and its consequences.   The congresswoman flew from Los Angeles to Washington, DC yesterday in order to take part in the votes.
 
“I voted in strong support of today’s bills to help protect American families, workers, and small businesses, and am continuing the fight to help my constituents and Americans all across the country as they face this devastating crisis,” Rep. Roybal-Allard said.  “Democrats improved today’s interim relief package by ensuring access for small businesses in underserved areas, and we won billions in funding for testing, hospitals, and the health care workers who are keeping us safe every day.  Every one of these improvements will protect countless American lives and livelihoods.
 
“However, we have much more to do.  Next, we must pass a CARES 2 Act that builds on the bipartisan CARES Act we passed last month, so we can keep helping our families, workers, and small businesses to stay safe, stay healthy, and make ends meet.  And because the Trump Administration made the unconscionable decision to reject more funding for state, local, and tribal governments so they can pay their essential workers, we must redouble our commitment to include that funding in CARES 2.  If governments cannot pay first responders, transportation personnel, and other crucial workers, we are all put at grave risk.
 
“As we confront this continued crisis, I want my constituents to know that I and my office are here to serve you.  While my staff is working from home in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the House of Representatives’ Office of the Attending Physician to practice social distancing, I encourage you to call my office at (323) 721-8790, or send me an email at roybal-allard.house.gov/contact, and we will get back to you.  I also invite you to visit and share my coronavirus resource page at roybal-allard.house.gov/coronavirus, which is regularly updated with information in English and Spanish to help and protect you, your families, and your businesses during this pandemic.”
 
Information about the Interim Emergency Funding Package (passed by the House today as a Senate Amendment to H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act):
 
Today’s interim emergency funding package provides emergency resources that are desperately needed to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people.  Democrats flipped this emergency package from an insufficient Republican plan that left behind hospitals and health workers, and did nothing to aid the survival of the most vulnerable small businesses.  The final agreement provides vital support in the following areas:
 
For small businesses: The final agreement strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $310 billion in additional funding, more than the $250 billion initially requested.  It sets aside $60 billion within PPP to help unbanked and underserved businesses get access to PPP funding, including minority-owned businesses, urban and rural businesses, small “mom-and-pop” businesses, and smaller nonprofits.  $30 billion is reserved for community-based lenders and small banks and credit unions, as well as $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions.  The agreement also expands small business support beyond PPP by securing $50 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants. In addition, the agreement secures strong protections to ensure that our nation’s farmers have access to this vital assistance.
For hospitals and health care workers: Democrats secured $75 billion to help our hospitals and health care workers pay for Personal Protective Equipment and other resources.  The Trump Administration has also agreed to key improvements to be made in CARES 2, including significantly lowering the interest rate on advance payments, lengthening the repayment schedule, and distributing payments from general revenues instead of the Hospital Insurance Fund.
For all Americans: The final agreement adds $25 billion for testing, which is the key to reopening the economy and resuming our lives. The Trump Administration has agreed to a national strategic testing policy that will focus on increasing domestic testing capacity, including testing supplies.
 
Sadly, the Administration refused to agree to more funding for state, tribal and local governments on the front lines of this crisis who desperately need an infusion of funds to pay the workers who keep us safe.  However, the President has acknowledged their need and agreed to consider this critical priority in CARES 2.
 
Information about the creation of a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (passed by the House today as a resolution providing for the adoption of H.Res. 935, Establishing a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Reform):
 
The House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis is a special bipartisan oversight panel which will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus, and help ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently.  This panel will root out waste, fraud and abuse, and it will protect against price gouging and profiteering.  It will also press to ensure that the federal response is based on the best possible science and guided by our nation’s leading health experts.
 
At the dawn of World War II, then-Senator Harry Truman spearheaded the creation of a Special Committee to ensure oversight and accountability over the dollars spent on the war effort.  The Truman Committee was a tremendously wise investment for our country.  Its total cost was less than $1 million, and it saved lives and nearly $15 billion by preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.
 
What made sense then makes even more sense now.  The work of the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis will help save lives, deliver relief, and benefit our economy.

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