Congressman Anthony Brindisi says both sides of the aisle need to work together to develop more funding plans and programs to help the American people suffering through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Paycheck Protection Program, created to help small businesses pay employees, has already run out of funding.
Brindisi released the following statement on Thursday:
“This is Washington politics at its worst. Families are struggling, small businesses are closing, and our frontline workers are risking everything to keep our essential industries moving. Politicians in both parties need to stop the bickering and partisan games. It is time to work together to secure additional funding for critical programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and other aid to our communities.”
Brindisi is pushing for a fourth relief package, that includes the following:
- Expands small business support programs to include small farms, and reopens the Dairy Margin Coverage program
- Compensates farmers for excess milk that needs to be disposed because of COVID-19 related market challenges, and addresses food insecurity by creating incentives for farmers to donate surplus dairy products to food banks
- Includes the Seeding Rural Resilience Act to improve mental health care for farming families, promote awareness of mental illness in rural areas, and help address the urban-rural suicide gap
- Expands funding for rural hospitals, provides access to additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for rural health care facilities, and includes Access for Rural Communities (ARC) Act to help rural hospitals maintain staff and vital services
- Builds on funding in the CARES Act for state and local governments to provide relief for small counties, towns and cities with populations of less than 500,000 residents. Provides more support to our NY-22 counties by increasing the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the Medicaid program.
- Expands access to adequate PPE for all essential health care workers, including home health aides and pharmacists
- Ensures health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight will have access to mental health care services as we address this pandemic and its aftermath
- Includes new businesses, startups, 501 (c)(6) organizations like Chambers of Commerce in the Small Business Administration’s recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program.
- Allows for increased funding for broadband access programs across rural communities, ensures Internet Service Providers like Charter/Spectrum cannot terminate service because of a household or business’s inability to pay
- Expands eligibility for many college students to receive emergency relief payments under the CARES Act and includes additional emergency funding for higher education institutions
- Provides support for military families affected by COVID-19-related financial instability, expands funding to cover PPE and hazard pay for first responders, and ensures corrections officers have access to the health and safety tools they need