Last night, the U.S. Senate came to a tentative coronavrius response agreement that should be voted on tonight. This tentative agreement is designed to provide immediate relief to workers, families, and businesses as we all face challenges during this crisis.
I was also on a conference call last night with Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Congressional delegation as we discussed efforts to get Michigan health care workers the personal protective equipment they desperately need,
Today, I've been at my kitchen table since 7 AM participating in several calls and updates that I'd like to share with you.
I have been working to put folks in touch with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who can help our health care professionals get adequate cleansing materials for their equipment.
I can also report that - as part of the tentative Senate deal agreed to last night - Small Business loans that businesses take out can be forgiven as long as the funds are used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, or utilities. I also spoke with our Michigan bankers today and told them to "get ready" because they will be instrumental in these loans and helping businesses get back up and running. For more information on this, click here.
As part of the deal, there is also immediate direct financial assistance for Americans and extended unemployment insurance for laid-off workers. There's also additional funding for hospitals, research, treatment, and the Strategic National Stockpile to get more ventilators, masks, and other equipment.
I also provided an update on Michigan Radio earlier today. You can find my interview with them here.
In addition, I just got off the phone with one of my Democratic colleagues from Michigan and we are working to clear hurdles with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration to get more personal protective equipment here that could provide tens of thousands of masks for our health care workers.
I want to be sure you saw this news, too. Yesterday, I announced that additional funding is headed to four local community health centers in the Sixth Congressional District. This funding will help them address screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies, and boost telehealth capacity while they work to save lives during this crisis. This is critical as we continue our efforts to get more resources in the hands of our health care workers. Learn more here.
Tomorrow, I will participate in a conference call with small business leaders from around the state and provide an update on what is in the Senate deal to help them respond to the coronavirus crisis.
Lastly, as we continue our efforts to get important information to all of you, please consider sharing this link with friends and family so they can also sign-up to receive these emails and get the latest information: https://upton.house.gov/forms/form/?ID=823
Stay safe, and God bless,
Member of Congress
RESOURCES TO HELP SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN
What you can and cannot do under Governor Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe order
State of Michigan Virtual Town Hall with Governor Whitmer
I know a lot of folks still have questions about what they can and cannot do under the Governor's Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Here is a convenient two page document from Southwest Michigan First that I hope will help. Click here.
Tomorrow, Governor Whitmer is participating in a virtual town hall from 7 PM to 8 PM with WOOD TV. You can learn more here.
Avoid Coronavirus Scams
Scammers are taking advantage of the fears surrounding the coronavirus. The FTC provides some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay. Click here.