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Garamendi Votes to Pass Additional Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses and Health Care Workers

April 24, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Garamendi returned to Washington, D.C. and voted to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a $484 billion emergency relief package to support small businesses, hospitals and health care workers, and to expand testing for COVID-19 nationwide. The legislation passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 388-5-1 and will head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“Small businesses throughout my district are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation provides the immediate support our nation’s small businesses and health care workers need to stay afloat, and provides much-needed resources for coronavirus testing. This legislation addresses some of the most immediate needs for our nation, and now that it is poised to become law, I will immediately get to work advocating for our district in the comprehensive ‘CARES 2’ legislation that’s being developed to put the health and safety of the American people first by prioritizing testing and contact tracing, and will include robust funding for essential workers. I will continue to fight to ensure American citizens and businesses have the resources they need to keep paying Americans throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” Garamendi said.

The legislation includes the following provisions to benefit Americans:

  • Billions for businesses in underserved rural, urban and tribal communities.  The legislation expands small business support beyond the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $50 billion for emergency disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion in emergency disaster grants.  
  • Support for Hospitals, Health Workers and Testing:  $75 billion for hospitals and physicians – many of which desperately need additional resources to stay open and protect their medical workers and patients from the virus. In addition, the legislation includes $25 billion for testing, which is the key to reopening the economy and resuming our lives.  The bill also establishes a national strategic testing policy that will focus on increasing domestic testing capacity and will address disparities in all communities.  Twenty-one days after enactment, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must issue a report on COVID-19 testing and shall include data on demographic characteristics including race, ethnicity and geographic regions, which must be updated every 30 days.  The report will also include numbers and rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths as a result of COVID-19.

Additionally, on April 21 Garamendi introduced the UNITE Act, which would utilize America’s service organizations such as the Peace Corps to expand testing and contact tracing nationwide.

“My office is here to help. If my constituents have an urgent matter they would like to bring to my attention, they can call my district office at (530) 753-5301 or visit my Help with a Federal Agency web page. For policy-related recommendations, please feel free to contact my Washington office at (202) 225-1880 or visit my contact web page. My office will continually post updates on my website at Garamendi.house.gov and on my social media pages,” Garamendi concluded.

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