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Rep. Williams Praises House Passage of Coronavirus 3.5 Response Package

Apr 23, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX-25) today praised House passage of the Senate Amendment to the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) following his vote to approve the package. H.R. 266 provides an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion in hospital assistance, and $25 billion directed toward testing for COVID-19. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Congressman Williams released the following statement:

“Ensuring that small business owners and health care providers have the funds they need to pull through this pandemic has been my top priority, and I am proud to be in Washington, D.C. today to secure these critical resources. Main Street businesses account for nearly sixty percent of the workforce in Texas and are the lifeblood of our TX-25 communities. Yet, while Texans fight to keep their businesses afloat and maintain payroll, Speaker Pelosi’s disgraceful actions in delaying these essential funds fortwo weeks has only exacerbated their hardships.

“Health care providers, especially in our rural communities, face enormous challenges while caring for our families on the front lines of the virus, and I am pleased to secure $75 billion in additional funds to cover unforeseen COVID-19 expenses. By allocating an additional $25 billion to testing, we are one step closer to making our nation safer for future generations and defeating this invisible enemy. I will continue working with my colleagues and the Administration to fight for the resources necessary to keep Texans safe and healthy as we take initial steps towards reopening our strong economy.”

Background:

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) replenishes funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, secures billions of dollars for hospitals to aid in the COVID-19 response, and increases money for testing at the state and local level. A breakdown of allocated funds is below:

Small business provisions:

Paycheck Protection Program

  • $310 billion dollars for more loans to small businesses
  • $60 billion specifically allocated to smaller financial institutions
    • $30 billion to financial institutions between $10 billion to $50 billion in assets
    • $30 billion to financial institutions under $10 billion in assets

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

  • $50 billion for the EIDL program from the Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • $10 billion for the EIDL advance grant program
  • Expands eligibility so agricultural enterprises can apply for the program if they have less than 500 employees
    • This includes dairy, cattle and livestock producers

Hospital assistance:

  • $75 billion for hospitals to help cover increased costs associated with COVID-19

Increased funding for testing:

  • $25 billion to help increase testing capacities and production
    • $11 billion for state and local governments to develop, purchase, administer, process or analyze COVID-19 tests, and to scale up capacity
    • $225 million to Rural Health Clinics (RHC’s) to expand testing
    • $600 million for Federally Qualified Health Centers to scale up testing capabilities
    • $1 billion to test the uninsured

To view full text of the bill, please click here.

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Congressman Roger Williams represents the 25th Congressional District of Texas and serves as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services.