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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

More Work to Do: My Coronavirus Weekly Update

May 19, 2020

During these uncertain times, one thing is for certain: Congress has more work to do to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19), assist families, workers, small and micro businesses, and lay the foundation for a full economic recovery. With that in mind, let me update you on my congressional work to keep all my constituents first as we move toward a new phase in our response to COVID-19.

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining officials from Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Pastor Keith Troy, and other Central Ohioans at New Salem Baptist Church to distribute free community care kits to constituents. These kits included isolation masks, hand sanitizer, various personal hygiene products, and information on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended best practices to help better protect residents from spreading the virus. All total, the initiative handed out over 40,000 masks, 36,000 soaps, and 20,000 hand sanitizers across five zip codes in Ohio’s Third Congressional District.

The very next day, I was on a plane (wearing my mask and gloves) bound for Washington, D.C. to vote on The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800. You’ll be interested to know that the bill includes language from a number of pieces of legislation my staff and I authored, such as putting a moratorium on consumer debt collection, forgivable loans for nonprofits, ‘banning the box’ on small business loans, and ensuring that the smallest businesses can get a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Moreover, wrapped into The Heroes Act, were many provisions I was proud to back. Prior to the landmark vote, I was among a select group of lawmakers invited to speak on the U.S. House of Representatives’ floor in support of the piece of legislation. An archived recording of my speech can be found on YouTube.

In addition to The Heroes Act, I am:

  • Cosponsoring the Essential Pay for Essential Workers Act to give $15 hourly hazard pay for essential workers.
  • Cosponsoring the Student Debt Emergency Relief Act, H.R. 6363, to protect student loan borrowers during public health emergencies and forgives $30,000 of student loan debt.
  • Cosponsoring the Saving Our Street Act, a bill to provide micro businesses grants up to $250,000, with a focus on minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.
  • Cosponsoring the Worker Relief and Security Act Framework, a measure that automatically extends unemployment insurance benefits until the unemployment rate has fallen.
  • Cosponsoring the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, H.R. 6820, a bill to expand funding by $100 billion for emergency rental assistance.
  • Cosponsoring the COVID-19 Homeowner Assistance Fund Act, H.R. 6729, to create a $75 billion fund for mortgage assistance and other housing-related costs.
  •  Cosponsoring H.Con.Res. 99, a resolution establishing a ‘National First Responders Day.’
  • Joining colleagues to send letters to Congressional Leadership to extend the charitable giving deduction expansion through 2021, make youth homelessness a priority in any future COVID-19 response bill, and create a stabilization fund for childcare.

I will say it again: Congress has more work still to do before we can put COVID-19 in the rear-view mirror. Rest assured that I will use every waking moment of every day to do just that. The journey ahead will not be without its roadblocks, but I am confident that we will get through this together because that is the ‘Central Ohio Way.’

For previous weekly updates and more information on COVID-19, please visit my Coronavirus Resource Page.