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Yarmuth Returns to Washington, Supports Increased Funding for Hospitals, Small Businesses, and National COVID-19 Testing

WASHINGTON– Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) returned to Washington to vote in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the next phase of COVID-19 response legislation to increase funding for health care providers, small business loan programs, and expanded testing capacity.

“There’s still much work to be done, but I’m glad we were able to reach yet another bipartisan agreement that will provide much-needed funding for those on the front lines, replenish our small business lending programs, and provide the necessary financial resources to finally start a thorough national testing system,” said Yarmuth. “My heart continues to break for the families of the tens of thousands of lives lost and the millions more whose lives have been upended by this virus. We are making some progress, but cannot stop until we are saving every life, every business, and every American institution.”

“That includes addressing the dire economic realities faced by our state and local governments,” added Yarmuth. “Throwing up your hands and telling them to declare bankruptcy is not a solution, it’s an abdication. I will continue to fight for this vital funding to be included in the next phase of relief so our state and local leaders have the resources and flexibility they need to successfully lead us out of this crisis.”

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act includes:

·        $310 billion in additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, with $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks and credit unions, and $30 billion reserved for medium-sized banks and credit unions. The legislation also expands small business support beyond PPP by providing $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants.

·        $75 billion in hospital and health care funding to provide resources to the frontlines, including Personal Protective Equipment. The Administration has also agreed to key improvements to be made in CARES 2, including significantly lowering the interest rate on advance payments, lengthening the repayment schedule, and distributing payments from general revenues, not the Hospital Insurance Fund.

·        $25 billion for testing, which is the key to reopening the economy and resuming our lives. The Administration has agreed to a national strategic testing policy that will focus on increasing domestic testing capacity, including testing supplies.

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