DeLauro Statement on New Funding Bill for COVID-19 Testing, Hospitals, Health Care Providers, Small Businesses
NEW HAVEN, CT — (April 21, 2020) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today released the following statement after House and Senate leadership released the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which would provide $310 billion for small business loans and grants, $25 billion to expand COVID-19 testing, and $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers. Within the additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $30 billion is reserved for community-based lenders, small banks, and credit unions, and another $30 billion can be accessed by medium-sized banks and credit unions. In addition, $10 billion is reserved for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), from which small business can apply for up to $10,000 in emergency cash grants to retain workers and pay for debt obligations they cannot fulfill due to lost revenue.
“The newly released coronavirus response package includes $100 billion for expanded testing, our health care workers, hospitals, and health care providers because Democrats fought to include it. In the middle of our country’s biggest health and economic crisis—when every minute matters and can save lives—the White House and Congressional Republicans fought for more than a week to exclude this life-saving funding to score political points and tell the public that Democrats oppose additional funding for small businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth. Small businesses and their employees in my District are struggling to make ends meet—as they are across the country—and pitting them against our health care workers is a false choice. With thousands of Americans dying every single day, we cannot allow our response to the COVID-19 pandemic to become a partisan issue.”
“Science and the advice of our medical health experts need to guide our policy decisions now more than ever. There will be no sustained economic recovery until we defeat COVID-19. That means we need to dramatically scale up our ability to test people to see if they have contracted the virus, as well as those who have recovered if the empirical evidence tells us it is safe for them to go back to their daily lives. That is why we secured language requiring the Trump administration to provide Congress with a strategic testing plan within the next 30 days—which I will be monitoring closely. I will also continue pressing HHS to distribute the tens of billions of dollars they have yet to release from the CARES Act. Hotspots around the country—including Connecticut—need this funding immediately.”
“After we pass this bill, we need to think in the broadest scale possible to address this crisis. Congress needs to fund additional relief for our states and local governments who are carrying the financial burden of fighting COVID-19, implement a national plan to coordinate food distribution and increase funding for SNAP to ensure people do not go hungry, expand paid sick days and paid leave and other worker protections, and increase the Child Tax Credit for working families and include those who are currently left out. Our federal agenda must put working people first.”