WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Hal Rogers applauds House passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act on Thursday, adding more than $480 billion in emergency coronavirus (COVID-19) relief funds for small businesses, hospitals and expanded testing for COVID-19. The bipartisan bill provides an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which ran out of money two weeks ago when Democrats delayed the funding in hopes of leveraging the program to add funding for projects unrelated to the COVID-19 response.
"For the last two weeks, Democrats have frivolously and recklessly held up extending the Payroll Protection Program, despite knowing how many more businesses still need assistance. Countless businesses have reached out, letting me know how critical it is for them to having funding to cover payroll expenses during this unforseen crisis," said Congressman Rogers. "The delay is finally over and this bipartisan emergency funding will help more businesses keep their doors open, including ours in Southern and Eastern Kentucky."
The legislation also provides an additional $60 billion for the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants, an extra $25 billion for COVID-19 testing and $75 billion to reimburse hospitals and health care providers for expenses and lost revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Congressman Rogers specifically advocated for a portion of the funding to be set aside specifically for small businesses and hospitals in rural areas, like Southern and Eastern Kentucky, where the pandemic is having a much different impact on small communities with additional economic challenges.
"I have been in constant contact with the White House and House and Senate leadership to communicate the needs in our rural area every step of the way, and our families, businesses and hospitals can rest assured that they will also have access to emergency funds as we continue relief efforts," said Rogers.