April 21, 2020

Van Hollen Statement on Bipartisan Interim COVID-19 Relief Package

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement in response to the bipartisan agreement reached on the interim COVID-19 relief package:

“As the coronavirus wreaks havoc on public health and our economy, it’s crucial that we act quickly to address challenges as they arise. While this interim measure falls short on many fronts, it is a major improvement over the shortsighted proposal initially offered by Leader Mitch McConnell. It not only replenishes both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and grant programs, but also makes important changes to help main street and minority-owned businesses better access the funds. Additionally, to reopen our economy, we need robust, reliable testing. This bill begins to address the inexcusable lack of COVID-19 testing by holding the Administration’s feet to the fire to increase our country’s testing capacity.

“But the Administration resisted other changes to help small businesses. This included our proposal to allow businesses greater flexibility in the use of relief funds and eliminate barriers the Administration unilaterally imposed which have prevented many from receiving practical relief. They also rebuked our efforts to include funds for our state and local governments – shortchanging Maryland’s communities and emergency responders. And – despite an increase in COVID-19 cases in Washington, DC – Republicans still refuse to provide the people in our nation’s capital with appropriate emergency funds, which directly impacts our regional response to this crisis. The fight on these fronts is not over.

“Our healthcare providers, small businesses, states, and local communities will need more resources – and soon. Clearly our work here is not done.”