WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Greg Stanton today supported an interim emergency funding bill to provide resources critically needed in the fight against COVID-19. The latest funding package passed by Congress included an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, $75 billion for hospitals and health care workers, and $25 billion more for testing.
Stanton voted in favor of the bill, but acknowledged it stops short of delivering much-needed support for the most vulnerable small businesses or additional assistance for state, local and tribal governments.
“The version of the bill we passed today reaffirms our commitment to make widespread testing a reality, plus gets desperately needed resources and support to hospitals, health care workers and small businesses,” said Stanton. “It’s disappointing that the Senate’s proposal was a one-sentence bill—a woefully inadequate response that left behind our health care workers and didn’t make improvements to the PPP. The changes we made will make a difference for Arizona’s small businesses, but we’re going to have to continue to work together in a bipartisan way to ensure support actually reaches those who need it most.”
Today’s bill included:
- For small businesses: The bill strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program with $310 billion in additional funding, with $60 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small- and medium-sized banks and credit unions. Support for small business will be expanded beyond PPP with $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants. The bill also includes strong protections to ensure Arizona’s farmers have access to this vital assistance, support Stanton has pushed for.
- For hospitals and health care workers: Democrats fought to include $75 billion to provide resources to the frontlines, including Personal Protective Equipment. The Administration committed to key improvements in the future “CARES 2,” including significantly lowering the interest rate on advance payments, lengthening the repayment schedule and distributing payments from general revenues.
- For all Arizonans: The bill includes $25 billion for testing, which is the key to reopening the economy. The Administration has agreed to a national strategic testing policy that will focus on increasing domestic testing capacity including testing supplies.
The Administration refused to approve additional funding for state, local and tribal governments on the front lines of the crisis who desperately need an infusion of funds to pay works who keep us safe—including firefighters, paramedics and police officers. The President, however, acknowledged this need and agreed to consider it a critical priority in CARES 2.
“Our cities and tribal communities are diverting an enormous amount of resources to fight COVID-19, and we have a responsibility to make sure they have the support they need to keep residents safe,” said Stanton.
At the time of the bill’s passage, there are more than 825,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 45,000 dead and more than 22 million initial unemployment claims in the past month alone.