Rep. Bera Votes to Provide Urgent Relief to Small Businesses and Health Care Providers Impacted by COVID-19
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) today voted to provide urgent relief to small businesses and health care providers in Sacramento County and across the country impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our small businesses – the backbone of our country – have been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rep. Bera. “I’ve been inspired by the resiliency of our small businesses in Sacramento County during this crisis, but they need more support. Today’s vote is an important step on the road to economic recovery for our communities. I’ll continue to do everything I can to ensure Sacramento County small businesses receive all the necessary resources for their recovery.”
The legislation passed by the House of Representatives today provides:
- $310 billion in additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll.
- $60 billion set asidefor small and mid-sized banks and credit unions as well as community-based lending institutions, ensuring that unbanked and underserved businesses can get access to PPP
- $75 billion to provide resources to our frontline healthcare workers, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The bill also provides $25 billion for testing and includes Bera-led provisions requiring the Administration to create a national testing strategy to increase testing capacity for states.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re months into this global pandemic and the United States still has no national testing strategy to help states,” said Rep. Bera. “While I’m encouraged to see that my provisions to require the creation of a national strategy were included in this bill, the Administration needs to act swiftly to ramp up testing. Only with widescale contact tracing and serologic testing will communities be able to start safely reopening.”
Rep. Bera wrote a letter to the Administration on April 8 urging them to create a national testing strategy. He’s also urging the creation of a National Public Health Corps to conduct the widespread contact tracing and serological testing that is necessary for communities to safely reopen.
Rep. Bera has been a leader in Congress in global health security and the fight against coronavirus. He chaired the first congressional hearing on the virus on Feb. 5th, sounded the alarm after the Trump Administration disbanded the global health security office in the National Security Council in 2018, and is a member on the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, which in November 2019 made a series of recommendations to prevent pandemics.