News Releases

Senator Murray: “This is no time to lose focus or slow down...I’m going to keep fighting with everything I have to make sure the federal government is doing everything in its power to help Washingtonians and people across our nation weather this storm”

Package includes $25 billion to increase testing efforts in Washington state, nationwide following calls from Senator Murray for a national testing plan 

ICYMI: Senator Murray Offers Roadmap to Dramatically Expand Testing Capacity Nationwide – MORE HERE 

$381  billion would support struggling small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program 

Senator Murray also successfully fought to include $75 billion in emergency funding for hard hit health care providers in Washington state and across the country

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement in support of legislation that passed the Senate today to provide desperately needed relief to small business owners and workers, as well as make critical emergency investments in our nation’s hospitals and new investments to rapidly ramp-up the nation’s testing capacity to address the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“For months I’ve been pushing to make sure the federal response to this COVID-19 pandemic prioritizes the frontline responders, workers, families, small businesses and communities who are sacrificing to help save lives and stem the tide of this crisis, and I’ve made clear that Congress must stay ready to do whatever is necessary—and quickly—to get on top of this virus and see our nation through this uncertain time. 

"So I’m glad Congress was able to come together to inject much-needed additional funding into the Paycheck Protection Program and other small business relief programs established by the CARES Act, including new set-asides to make sure federal assistance is getting to the small businesses on Main Street that need it the most. Democrats were also able make sure the deal also includes significant additional emergency investments in our health care system, as well as provisions and funding outlined in my new testing plan that will increase the nation’s testing capacity and contact tracing capabilities—which according to public health experts is absolutely critical to safely re-opening our country.

"These are important steps that will help ensure struggling small businesses and hard-hit communities are getting the federal support and assistance they need to survive this global health emergency, but this is no time to lose focus or slow down. I’ve heard repeatedly from people and businesses across Washington state who are still struggling, and there is much, much more work that Congress will have to do to continue addressing this pandemic and giving our communities on the frontlines the resources they need to get on the other side of this. I’m going to keep fighting with everything I have to make sure the federal government is doing everything in its power to help Washingtonians and people across our nation weather this storm.”

Senator Murray and Senate Democrats called Republicans back to the negotiating table after Senate Republicans tried to ram through a partisan bill that ignored the dire need for drastically increased testing and tracing capabilities as well as essential funding for health care providers on the front lines of this crisis. Highlights of several federal investments and other priorities Senator Murray secured in the funding package include:

·         Small Business Relief: $381 Billion

o   Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): $321 billion to replenish the PPP, which distributes forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

§  Smaller Institutions: An additional $60 billion in PPP funding specifically for small lenders and community-based financial institutions, to serve the needs of underserved small businesses and nonprofits—especially rural, minority, and women-owned businesses. 

o   Additional Relief Programs: $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and $10 billion for the Emergency Economic Injury Grant (EEIG) program to provide economic relief to small-businesses struggling during this crisis.

o   Small Business Administration (SBA): $2.1 billion to improve SBA administration and facilitate relief distribution.

o   Agriculture: Clarification that agricultural enterprises are eligible for PPP and EIDL loans.

 

·         Testing:  $25 Billion

o   States: $11 billion to be distributed to states for testing, surveillance, and contract tracing efforts.

o   Federal: $14 billion for federal agencies to support a broad range of testing-related activities, including research, development, and deployment of tests.

o   Planning: Requirement that the Trump Administration formulate a plan to increase testing nationwide and address disparities in testing.

 

·         Health Care: $75 Billion 

o   Providers: $75 billion for health care providers, including hospitals, to be distributed through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (“PHSSEF”).

 

The package comes after Senator Murray released a roadmap last week to dramatically expand testing capacity in Washington state and nationwide, which will be necessary in order to eventually reopen the country. Additionally, Senator Murray continues to hear from hospitals, health care providers, and small business owners from across Washington state about their extreme need for additional federal support in order to continue providing care for Washingtonians and keep their businesses afloat.

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