Washington, DC — Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22) today voted in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, critical funding to further help American workers while COVID-19 economic restrictions remain in effect. The bill also provides critical assistance to hospitals and health care workers in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.
“Week after week we are seeing record unemployment filings as shuttered businesses struggle to survive and retain their employees during this pandemic. American workers are desperately hurting, hospitals are in need of critical resources and small businesses are teetering on the brink of extinction,” Olson stated. “This is not a vote I take lightly — as a fiscal conservative I’m always wary of large spending packages, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. This funding package is a necessary lifeline that will help keep businesses open, keep workers employed and accelerate the efforts of our health care professionals to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Specifically, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act:
- Provides an additional $310 billion in PPP loans:
- $30 billion in guaranteed loans for lenders with less than $10 billion in assets.
- $30 billion in guaranteed loans for lenders with $10 billion to $50 billion in assets.
- Provides an additional $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) grants.
- Appropriates an additional $50 billion for the Disaster Loans Program Account.
- Allows agricultural enterprises as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)) with not more than 500 employees to receive EIDL grants and loans.
- Provides an additional $75 billion for reimbursement to hospitals and healthcare providers to support the need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue.
- Provides $25 billion for necessary expenses to research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests, specifically:
- $11 billion for states, localities, territories, and tribes to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, scale-up laboratory capacity, trace contacts, and support employer testing. Funds are also made available to employers for testing.
- $1 billion provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity expansion, contact tracing, public health data surveillance, and analytics infrastructure modernization.
- $1.8 billion provided to the National Institutes of Health to develop, validate, improve, and implement testing and associated technologies; to accelerate research, development, and implementation of point-of-care and other rapid testing; and for partnerships with governmental and non-governmental entities to research, develop, and implement the activities.
- $1 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for advanced research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of diagnostic, serologic, or other COVID-19 tests or related supplies.
- $22 million for the Food and Drug Administration to support activities associated with diagnostic, serological, antigen, and other tests, and related administrative activities.
- $825 million for Community Health Centers and rural health clinics.
- Up to $1 billion may be used to cover the costs of testing for the uninsured.