March 04, 2020

Rep. Kilmer Votes to Support COVID-19 Emergency Funding Supplemental

Kilmer-led Provision to Provide Relief to Small Businesses Included

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Kilmer voted to support H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides $8.3 billion in new funding to establish a robust response to this public health emergency. The legislation, which passed the House 415-2, includes $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation.

The legislation also includes a provision championed by Rep. Kilmer that allows $1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses, including shellfish growers, trade-dependent manufacturers, and others that have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This funding could enable the Small Business Administration to provide an estimated $7 billion in loans to these entities and provides $20 million to the SBA to administer these loans.

“This robust emergency funding package is an important step toward ensuring the federal government steps up to the scale and seriousness of this growing public health emergency. It provides critical funding to ensure that vaccines, once developed, are affordable and available to all who need them, and, that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the COVID-19 threat,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m grateful that this bill includes a provision I took the lead on to deal with some of the economic impacts of this. I’ve already heard from shellfish growers and some export-dependent manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by this situation. It’s important for the federal government to have the backs of our small businesses by providing this assistance.”

“The American people are counting on our federal government for a coordinated and comprehensive response to the coronavirus. This emergency supplemental legislation consists of robust, entirely new funding to address the virus and keep Americans safe from this growing public health emergency,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “It also includes a measure led by Rep. Kilmer to ensure that our nation’s small businesses have the assistance they need. As always, Derek is a trusted partner as we complete the Appropriations Committee’s important work, and I’m grateful for his leadership in this conversation.”

“Americans urgently need a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to protect us from the widening coronavirus epidemic,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “As cases in Washington state and across the country continue to grow, Congressman Derek Kilmer’s leadership has been vital to the House passing a robust funding package today. Based on Congressman Kilmer’s suggestion, Democrats are proud to have included $7 billion in low-interest SBA loans in our bipartisan coronavirus emergency funding bill to protect small businesses impacted by this epidemic and maintain the economic strength of our communities.”

The emergency supplemental provides $8.3 billion in entirely new funding to combat the coronavirus epidemic. It includes:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies;
  • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
  • $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions;
  • $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home;
  • $300 million so the government can purchase vaccines at a fair and reasonable price; and,
  • Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency.

The legislation directs Small Business Disaster Loans to be made available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture producers, and non-profit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The emergency supplemental also contains other provisions to ensure a comprehensive response. The bill:

  • Allows seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;
  • Requires the Trump administration to reimburse health accounts that were previously impacted to pay for the coronavirus response;
  • Ensures state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.

Additionally, the bill includes a requirement to reimburse $136 million to health accounts, including mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention, and heating and cooling assistance for low-income families, that was transferred by the Administration to support its response.