Rep. Grijalva Statement on Interim Emergency Relief Funding
TUCSON— Today, the House of Representatives passed an interim emergency funding bill to provide immediate relief to small businesses and hospitals and for additional testing needs. After the vote, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement:
“Congress did what it needed to do today to increase funding for Paycheck Protection Program, strengthen disaster relief loans, and get hospitals the immediate aid they desperately need to combat COVID-19 in our communities.
“While I supported this bill, it was far from perfect and significantly weakened by Senate Republicans more concerned about prioritizing the interests of corporations and reopening the economy than protecting our workers from the virus and saving small businesses. Despite that, this bill saves jobs and will save lives.”
“It provides $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program so that small businesses can keep employees on the payroll and pay their bills, while setting aside $60 billion for community-based lenders, banks, and credit unions to help businesses in their communities. It protects our healthcare workers by ensuring $75 billion goes towards health center needs, including providing workers with PPE. It invests $25 billion in testing that is crucial to reopening our economy.
“While this was a positive step forward, more must be done to address more of the immediate impacts of COVID-19. We must end discriminatory provisions that prevent immigrants, DACA recipients, and TPS holders from accessing CARES Act relief. We must pay doctors and nurses, farm workers, grocery store workers, and other essential workers the hazard pay they deserve for working essential jobs. We must provide local governments and rural communities with funding to address outbreaks to keep their residents safe. We must mandate nationwide testing and ensure lower income, minority communities, and tribal populations that are disproportionately harmed by the virus get the resources they need and deserve.
“We must also remain accountable to the American people and serve as good stewards of taxpayer funds. This means engaging in rigorous oversight and transparency to ensure that the money is going to the people who need it the most. We cannot allow corporations and the wealthy to receive massive bailouts and sweetheart deals while workers and small businesses receive crumbs.
“COVID-19 is the biggest crisis we’ve faced in a generation, and it merits a government response that reflects its severity. Now is the time to be bold in our solutions, take care of our neighbors and communities, and ensure that when we get through this crisis, our country will be stronger at the end. The status quo response to our shared crisis will not make us stronger nor more resilient.”
For coronavirus resources including a local resource guide prepared by my office see Grijalva.house.gov/coronavirus.