Congressman García Votes for Latest Coronavirus Relief Package
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) released the following statement today after voting to pass H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act:
“I voted, with great hesitation, to support this package that will provide funding for hospitals, increased virus testing, and support for small businesses throughout the country. I also support the provision to report COVID-19 demographic data by race, sex, ethnicity, gender and geography.
“Though we urgently need to address the effects of COVID-19, this legislation falls woefully short for the majority of small businesses and families in my district.
“The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) promised to keep thousands of businesses afloat and millions of workers employed. Yet the program ran out of funds—leaving out the majority of small businesses that keep my community vibrant. I heard countless stories from small business owners about being turned away while larger, well-connected businesses gained access to funding. I advocated strongly for the current bill to include funds dedicated to small, minority-owned and immigrant-owned businesses, but only modest steps were taken to ensure help for these businesses.
“I am deeply disappointed this package does not do more for immigrants, especially since they have been unfairly excluded from the prior legislation passed by Congress. For example, U.S.-born children of undocumented parents remain ineligible for pandemic financial relief checks; workers who contribute to our economy are excluded from assistance checks and unemployment insurance simply because they are undocumented—yet they pay taxes.
“The frontline workers who drive our buses, pick vegetables in the fields, draw blood at the hospital and stock the grocery store shelves need more than words of encouragement—they need financial support.
“In the strongest possible terms, I urge my colleagues to do everything in our power to ensure that working families, and minority and immigrant owned businesses are fully included in upcoming legislation. We must fund a paycheck protection program that reaches all small businesses, expands support for emergency food for families and children, provides financial assistance to cover rent and mortgage payments, and gives state and local governments the funding they need to protect our firefighters, paramedics, and first responders during this health pandemic.
“This package, while important, falls short. More must be done in the coming weeks and Congress must act swiftly, with urgency, to ensure all families receive the assistance they need and deserve.”