Local Congressman TJ Cox votes for COVID-19 emergency funding package

Rep. TJ Cox votes for COVID-19 Emergency Funding Package
Rep. TJ Cox votes for COVID-19 Emergency Funding Package

Congressman, TJ Cox, who represents Lemoore and Kings County, voted Thursday on an interim emergency funding package to provide the emergency resources needed to sustain the life-and-death fight to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people.

“Help is finally on the way for Central Valley farms and Main Street businesses after big businesses vacuumed up the first PPP funding package. I’m glad Democrats fought to correct the errors from the last package, directing funds to small and medium-sized lenders. I’m also glad the final package included a response to my letter last week, which demanded better data on testing in our rural communities,” said Cox.

Cox said that in the previous bill, four percent of businesses took 45 percent of the Paycheck Protection Program loans. In the new bipartisan package passed Thursday of the $310 billion appropriated, $#60 billion is set aside within the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small and medium-sized lenders. The bill also appropriates $60 billion in SBA disaster loans and grants.

The fourth recovery package includes a study on testing data that shows which areas, especially rural communities, are falling behind.

The new package will help Americans in the following ways: 

  • For small businesses: the legislation strengthened the Paycheck Protection Program with $310 billion in additional funding, with $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks, and credit unions and $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions.  We are expanding small business support beyond PPP by securing $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants. We have also secured strong protections to ensure that our nation’s farmers have access to this vital assistance. 
  • For hospitals and health care workers: Democrats have secured $75 billion to provide resources to the frontlines, including Personal Protective Equipment. The 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, not the Hospital Insurance Fund. 

The act secured $25 billion for testing, which is the key to reopening the economy and resuming Americans’ lives. The Administration has agreed to a national strategic testing policy that will focus on increasing domestic testing capacity, including testing supplies.

House Democrats took the first step earlier this month by passing a bipartisan emergency defense funding package of $8.3 billion of entirely new funds. This package focuses heavily on testing, commits more than $3 billion to the development of treatments and a vaccine available to all, provides $2.2 billion in prevention, preparedness and response measures, including nearly a billion dollars to help state, local, tribal and territorial health systems, and helps families by extending telemedicine services, regardless of where they live and supports small businesses, with billions in low-interest SBA loans to those affected. Telemedicine will be essential during this pandemic, especially for rural communities in the Central Valley, who are already seeing their access to healthcare being restricted. 

To make sure the funds are put to good use, the House is also forming a special bipartisan oversight panel: The House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. 

  • 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.   
  • The committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and efficiently. 

The work of the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis will help save lives, deliver relief, and benefit our economy.   

After passing this interim emergency legislation, Congress will advance a CARES 2 Act that will extend and expand the bipartisan CARES Act to meet the needs of the American people. CARES 2 must provide bold, forward-looking, and genuinely transformational relief for all Americans who are weathering this crisis, recognizing that the key to getting Americans back to work and ensuring economic security is putting the health and safety of the American people first.


Local Congressman TJ Cox votes for COVID-19 emergency funding package

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