Sen. Tom Udall Calls For Bipartisan Action To Address Gaps In CARES Act

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U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) on Thursday issued the following statement calling for immediate bipartisan action to address gaps in the recently passed CARES Act that would provide additional funding and fixes for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), shoring up our hospitals and other health care providers as they fight COVID-19 while losing regular revenue, and provide relief to state, local and Tribal governments as they continue to experience severe financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic:

“For nearly two weeks, Republican leaders have played politics – inexplicably refusing to engage in serious, good-faith bipartisan discussions, while standing in the way of fixing the shortfalls of the Paycheck Protection Program and blocking emergency relief to hospitals and other health care providers, and state, local, and Tribal governments that are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. The Paycheck Protection Program is a key economic lifeline, but we have heard from small businesses and local banking institutions in New Mexico, especially those in disadvantaged communities, that the Trump administration’s management of the PPP and other small business programs have major flaws and need urgent improvement. Our small businesses need real fixes to the program – not just more funds that will go out the door before all small businesses have a chance to even apply for a loan.

“I am confident there is wide bipartisan support for action to fix the issues plaguing the PPP program and to infuse more resources into it, as well as providing badly needed and urgent relief to health care providers and state and local governments who are facing dire financial straits that threaten public and essential public services. Instead of political posturing, we need to heed the bipartisan calls of governors, mayors, hospitals, and other health care providers, in addition to small businesses, and take quick action on all three fronts at this time of crisis.

“While I am deeply disappointed it has taken this long, I am hopeful that the Senate will once again swiftly come together on a bipartisan basis to agree on an interim package to provide additional emergency relief to those who need it, while we work on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and jumpstart our economy.”