What’s Happening in DC
As you know, there are many components to the Coronavirus response. Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to provide an additional $321 billion in funding to the PPP—funding necessary to sustain small businesses and protect jobs. This legislation also includes $50 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program, as well as an additional $10 billion for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants, $75 billion to support hospitals, and $25 billion to expand testing efforts.
While I have serious concerns with the massive amount of spending that bears no offsets and has all relevant budgetary controls waived, I realize the need to stabilize our citizens and our economy.
Yesterday, the Small Business Administration released a report with information and details about the second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Carranza issued a statement summarizing the report's findings:
“The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans.
“Since Round 2 of PPP loan processing began on April 27, 2.2 million loans have been made to small businesses which surpasses the number of all loans made in PPP Round 1. The total value of these 2.2 million loans is over $175 billion. Notably, the average loan size in Round 2 is $79,000, yet another indicator that the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses.
“Nearly 500,000 of the loans were made by lenders with less than $1 billion in assets and non-banks. These lenders include Community Development Financial Institutions, Certified Development Companies, Microlenders, Farm Credit lending institutions, and FinTechs. Over 850,000 loans—about one third of the 2.2 million loans—were made by lenders with $10 billion of assets or less.
“Since the launch of PPP on April 3, SBA has processed over 3.8 million loans for more than half a trillion dollars of economic support in less than one month.
“SBA systems are processing loans so lenders can disburse funds quickly. We encourage all eligible lenders to participate and all eligible borrowers that need this assistance to work with an approved lender to apply."
However, as I have said before, Americans need their leaders to find the quickest path to reopening our economy.
This week, Minority Leader McCarthy introduced House Republicans' four-phase plan to get Congress back to work! To start, we can get our committees back to work – especially for the most necessary legislation, amend voting structure to prolong time for votes allowing for proper social distancing, expand technology use for committee business, and accelerate risk mitigation practices in the Capitol and House office buildings – just to name a few.
America needs—and wants—to get back work. Congress needs to lead the way.
In the District
Last week, Governor Abbott announced his plans to reopen the Texas economy. I am happy to report that Texas has seen sustained improvement in its statewide COVID-19 data, a declining infection rate for 17 days. Our hospitalization rate is steady and hospital capacity statewide remains abundant.
As such, the Governor’s statewide stay-at-home order expired on April 30, 2020, as planned. The sooner Texas is able to fully re-open, the less time it will take us to recover.
Over the past few weeks, I held two district-wide and three small business telephone town halls. To get you the information and resources you need, our calls included representatives from SBA, Texas Department of State Health Services, Galveston and Jefferson County Health Departments, the Texas Department of Emergency Management, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, and the Texas Workforce Commission. If you missed these events and would like to listen, you can do so here.
As always, your feedback is essential to making the right decisions in Washington. As elected officials, it is our responsibility to protect our citizens, neighbors, and communities, and I can’t do that effectively without your input!
Announcement – Annual Congressional Art Competition
Every year, I look forward to reviewing the submissions for the annual Congressional Art Competition. This year we are moving forward with the competition as follows:
Our office is now accepting submissions digitally. The deadline for entry is fast approaching: May 13, 2020. Please email submissions and Student Information Forms to Janet Brown - Janet.email@example.com.
Please note, it may not be possible to include the teacher’s signature on the student form; however, an email from the teacher is acceptable. Please see the Rules and Regulations for size and all other requirements. If teachers, parents, or students have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Janet Brown at the email provided above.
- Submissions will be evaluated the week of May 18, 2020
- Winner announcement will be no later than May 22, 2020
- The winner reception in DC is tentatively set for July 22, 2020 and the location is to be determined.
I want to thank all of you for your strength and resilience during these trying times. Know that we are in this together, and we will persevere. Again, should you need any assistance with a federal agency or program, my offices are still operating and ready to serve you!
Stay safe and God bless Texas!
Randy K. Weber
Visit Rep. Weber's Website Here