April 21, 2020

Warner & Kaine Statement On Senate Passage Of Coronavirus Relief Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement after the Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan coronavirus relief package that provides $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (including $60 billion for women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and businesses in rural communities), $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, $75 billion for health care providers, and $25 billion for testing.

“This legislation will provide urgently needed funding to small businesses so they can keep their workers on the payroll and to our health care providers on the front lines of this pandemic. And it will help ramp up testing capacity, which will be critical to reopening our economy. The Trump Administration’s failure to implement widespread testing has made this crisis much worse, and we’ve been pushing hard for a national testing strategy and additional funding to help reduce the spread and save lives. Today’s legislation also ensures more resources get delivered to underserved populations, our community development financial institutions, and businesses that are truly small. As we hear every day from Virginians, this massive public health emergency is having devastating health and economic impacts. We’ll continue supporting efforts to provide financial relief and to ensure we’re getting the public health response right.”

Last week, Warner sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, expressing concerns about reports that cash-rich corporations and hedge funds are taking advantage of the requirements of the PPP program, shutting out small and independent businesses in need of financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. The legislation also includes funding to help modernize and strengthen public health data infrastructure, which Sen. Kaine has long championed. Last year, he introduced with Senators Isakson and King the Saving Lives Through Better Data Act, bipartisan legislation to modernize public health data infrastructure so clinicians, state health departments, and the CDC can work together more quickly and seamlessly to identify and respond to health threats like the coronavirus.