04.21.20

Lankford Supports More Relief for Oklahoma’s Small Businesses, Workers, and Hospitals

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued a statement after the Senate unanimously voted to provide additional funding to hospitals, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP and EIDL programs were created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. PPP ran out of money after 10-days.

“Oklahoma small businesses and workers saw funding for both the Paycheck Protection Program and the EIDL advances run dry in a time they desperately needed the support due to the health crisis our nation and world are facing. The legislation passed unanimously by the Senate today will help families keep paychecks coming and provide additional support for our Oklahoma hospitals. I encourage all Oklahoma small businesses and nonprofits to contact their bank to find out more information on these vital programs.”

Background

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • $75 billion in additional funds for hospitals and healthcare providers to support aid in response to COVID-19.
    • Under the CARES Act, $100 billion was already provided--$30 billion has been sent and the remaining $70 billion will start to be sent out this week
  • $25 billion to continue research, develop, manufacture, purchase and administer COVID-19 testing.
    • $11 billion for state, localities, territories, and tribes to expand COVID-19 testing and research
      • $2 billion provided to states through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant to ensure every state receives funds,
      • $4.25 billion provided to areas based on relative number of COVID-19 cases,
      • $750 million provided to tribal organizations, and urban Indian health organizations in coordinate with Indian Health Services.
    • $1 billion provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity expansion, contract tracing, public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization.
    • $1.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and improve COVID-19 testing, including implementation of point-of-care and other paid testing; and for partnerships with governmental and non-governmental entities for research, development and implementation.
    • $1 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the purchase of diagnostic, serologic and other COVID-19 test or related supplies
    • $22 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support activities associated with diagnostic, serological antigen, and other tests.
    • $825 million for Community Health Centers and rural health clinics.
    • Up to $1 billion may be used to cover the costs of testing for the uninsured.
  • Includes $6 million for the HHS Office of the Inspector General for oversight activities.
  • Requires plan from state, localities, territories, and tribes on how resources will be used for testing and easing COVID-19 community mitigation policies.
  • Requires a strategic plan related to providing assistance to states for testing and increasing testing capacity.

Increase to Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL

  • Provides an additional $310 billion in aid for PPP.
  • $60 billion in additional aid for the EIDL program—$50 billion in loans and $10 billion for grants.

Lankford has joined several letters to clarify guidance on PPP including protecting senior communities and health care workers who serve senior adult populations,  protecting faith-based entities and ensuring they can access critical relief programs, helping publicly owned hospitals access PPP,  supporting public hospitals, ensuring rural hospitals have help during COVID-19, clarifying PPP eligibility for small businesses, and calling on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to keep the financial assistance authorized by the CARES Act industry neutral and free from bias. 

Lankford has dedicated a page of his website to resources for Oklahoma families, small businesses, and workers for resources available from the federal government. Lankford has continued to connect with hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans during stay at home guidelines in order to answer their questions on the CARES Act, including hosting eight telephone town halls and his first virtual town hall this week to answer Oklahoman’s questions directly.

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