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Waters Statement on Passage of Interim COVID-19 Relief Package

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, by a vote of 388-5-1.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business, led efforts to ensure much-needed reforms were included in H.R. 266 to increase community lender participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Click here for a summary of PPP improvements that the Financial Services Committee and Small Business Committee secured in H.R. 266 and see below for Chairwoman Waters’ statement in support of this legislation on the House floor.

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I want to thank you for your leadership in tough negotiations in support of this legislation, H.R. 266.

I not only rise in support of this legislation, this, the enhancement act, I also would like to rise in support of what we’re doing for the Health Care Enhancement Act in this bill, and I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister, who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus.

This legislation provides $370 billion in funding for small businesses, as well as $100 billion for hospitals and coronavirus testing. I am pleased that we have been able to set aside $60 billion for our nation’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), community banks, credit unions, certified development companies and microlenders to directly lend to their small business customers, who are often minority-owned businesses. Small businesses and their workers all across the country are in dire need of assistance and will benefit from this bill.

And so with that, Congress must now immediately turn to the next package of legislation to provide relief during the pandemic. We need to do much more to help renters, homeowners, people experiencing homelessness, and mom and pop landlords. As Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, I am already working on additional coronavirus relief legislation, including legislation that creates a $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund and a $75 billion homeowner assistance fund.

I support H.R. 266 and look forward to working with my colleagues on the next relief package.


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