Lofgren Statement on the Paycheck Protection Program & Health Care Enhancement Act
SAN JOSE, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) issued the below statement on H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act:
"I support the bipartisan agreement reached on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
"Many California small businesses were unable to access the first round of loans made through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established under the CARES Act (H.R. 748) because the initial round of funds was insufficient to meet the dire needs of our community during this time. Even more concerning, the Administration’s bungled rollout of PPP has sown frustration and confusion at every point of the application process, denying many Santa Clara County small businesses a lifeline. I outlined my concerns regarding these flaws in my testimony to the House Small Business Committee on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
"This bill will provide $310 billion in additional funding for PPP. More importantly, it will reserve $60 billion for small- and medium-sized banks, credit unions, and community-based lenders to ensure our relief efforts are reaching all communities. It also adds $10 billion to Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Grants and $50 billion to the Disaster Loans Program for our small businesses.
"Our hospitals, health centers, and county health officials need the additional $75 billion in assistance to maintain necessary resources and procure more protective personal equipment for our healthcare workers who continue to give and risk so much.
"Additionally, the nation needs the $25 billion for testing to guarantee a science-based transition for when communities are ready to reopen. A nationwide strategy with a focus on increasing domestic testing capacity will be critical for reopening the economy and for preventing a second outbreak.
"Four bills and $2 trillion in emergency relief later, more is still needed. Specifically, we must provide additional direct funding for state and local governments and perform robust oversight on the allocation of funds for pandemic relief to prevent fraud and abuse. State and local governments need and deserve federal assistance. In CARES 2, we must make whole the state and local governments on the frontlines of this crisis and ensure our state, county, and city officials are equipped to preserve the health and safety of our community.
"I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to address specific community needs in any future legislation."
On April 16, 2020, Lofgren commented on the ongoing negotiations regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.
On March 27, 2020, Lofgren announced her support for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.