Congressman Walden Update 4/17

The latest on the coronavirus: The situation is rapidly changing, but I wanted to share the latest information and news on the outbreak and relief efforts.

Walden Selected to White House Task Force

Yesterday, President Trump selected Greg Walden to join the White House Economic Task Force. The bipartisan, bicameral task force will advise the White House on reopening the economy. Read more here.

Funds Run Dry for PPP and EIDL:

As of yesterday, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program are out of money. Last week, President Trump called on Congress to prevent these funds from running dry, but Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer stopped that effort in its tracks. Read more here.

PPP Statistics Nationwide as of April 16, 2020):

  • More than 1,650,000 loans have been approved for small businesses
  • $350 billion in loans have been processed 
  • Nearly 5,000 lenders have participated

Oregon stats as of April 13, 2020:

  •  9,508 approved loans for PPP
  • $2,427,776,445 in approved dollars for PPP

Funding for Airports:
The FAA just announced the CARES Act AIP grant allocations, totaling $9.1 billion of the $10 billion provided for airports in the Act. In the Second District $15 million will go to the Medford airport, $8.9 million to Redmond airport, and $16 million to the Pendleton airport. This funding will help the airports operating during this pandemic.

Funding for Oregon Education:

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday that nearly $3 billion will be made available to governors to ensure education continues for students of all ages impacted by the coronavirus. Oregon will receive over $32 million in a discretionary grant to support the state’s K-12 and higher ed needs during COVID-19. The money comes as a result of the CARES Act.

Help is On The Way:

As soon as the middle of April, most Americans will receive a payment of $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple, and $500 per child directly to their bank account via direct deposit thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

Those on Social Security who do not file taxes DO NOT need to file anything to receive this new payment.

Those who receive disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs WILL need to submit information to the IRS to receive this payment. You can provide this information through the IRS’s website here.

Low income individuals with a gross income between $12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married couples that do not file taxes, WILL need to submit information to the IRS to receive this payment. You can provide this information through the IRS’s website here.

For additional information about the economic impact payment you can visit the IRS website here.

FEMA Project Airbridge:

FEMA has launched Project Airbridge to help efficiently maintain the country’s existing medical supply chain infrastructure. The goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes for U.S. medical supply distributors to get commercially sourced and procured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies into the country for their customers. FEMA is covering the cost to fly the supplies into the U.S. from overseas factories, which will cut the amount of time it takes to ship supplies from weeks to days.

Expanding Connectivity:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun accepting applications for the $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The funds will help healthcare providers purchase the connectivity and devices they need to care for patients remotely in response to COVID-19.  More here.

NIH Begins New Study:

NIH has begun recruiting for a new study to quantify undetected cases of COVID-19. In this “serosurvey,” researchers will collect and analyze blood samples from as many as 10,000 volunteers to provide critical data for epidemiological models, helping to illuminate the extent to which the virus has spread undetected in the United States.  People interested in joining this study should contact clinicalstudiesunit@nih.gov.  

Clinical trial information is here. 

More Funding for Oregon Health Care Providers:

The first $30 billion in funding for hospitals and health care providers that was included in the CARES Act was delivered. This resulted in $291 million for Oregon. As part of the CARES Act, there is still $70 billion to be disbursed to hospitals and health care providers in order to combat the effects of COVID-19. Read more here. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded over $23 million to Community Health Centers in Oregon, including 11 in the Second District. Read more  here.

Watch out for COVID-19 Scams:

Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are reporting a spike in coronavirus related scams including home testing kits, fake cures, and other malicious attempts to prey on COVID-19 fears. The Treasury Department will NOT ask you to pay anything for the payment most Americans will receive as a result of the CARES Act and will not contact you for your bank account information. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government asking for this type of information, please report it to www.ftc.gov/complaint. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from these types of scams here.

What’s Walden Doing: An update on my latest actions. 

Greg Walden Statement on Paycheck Protection Program Running Dry

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Click here or on the image above to watch Rep. Walden’s remarks.

Greg Walden released the following video statement after the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ran out of money, which Walden had warned against. Read more here. Watch Walden’s video here.

Greg Walden Selected for White House Economic Task Force

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Rep. Walden on the phone with President Trump.

Greg Walden released the following statement after President Trump appointed him to the White House Economic Task Force. The bipartisan, bicameral task force will advise the White House on reopening the economy. Read more here.

Greg Walden Encourages Oregon Health Care Providers to Apply for New Telehealth Program

Greg Walden released a statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) COVID-19 Telehealth Program. On Monday, the FCC opened the program’s application. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $200 million for the program, which will help connect providers and patients.  Read more here.

Greg Walden: ‘Help is on the way’

Greg Walden released information on the individual payments that most Americans will receive as soon as the middle of April thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Read more here.

Resources to Know and Share: Here are some helpful resources and information on COVID-19.

Individual Payments:

The IRS launched the “Get My Payment” web portal with features to let taxpayers check on their Economic Impact Payment date and update direct deposition information. Click here to check on the status of your payment.

Helpful Resources on PPE:

CDC updated the PPE Burn Rate Calculator, a spreadsheet-based model that will help health care facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19.  More here.

You can now see PPE shipments to Oregon counties here.

ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

  • For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE

The Small Business Administration has also launched a hotline for lenders who need assistance accessing SBA’s E-Tran system. That number is: 1-833-572-0502. More answers from the SBA can be found here.

Other resources on the Paycheck Protection Program:

INFORMATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD:

The State Department has repatriated over 50,000 Americans from more than 90 countries.

The State Department is making efforts to bring home Americans, including through commercial flights, chartered flights, and military transport.  Any American abroad who needs assistance should contact their local U.S. embassy and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available here or by calling 1-888-407-4747.

If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:

  • Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
  • Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
  • Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
  • Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
  • Visit Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.

ASSISTANCE FROM HHS AND FEMA:

HHS and FEMA have fielded many requests to assist or partner with the Federal Government in response to the COVID pandemic.

  • Organizations or individuals seeking to contract with the federal government to import or manufacture medical products to aid the U.S. response submit information to FEMA through the a Request for Proposal, available here.
  • Organizations or individuals that wish to donate medical supplies or equipment can submit that information here.
  • Other inquiries from organizations or individuals, including individuals who want to volunteer or organizations that want to produce a product related to the COVID response, among other inquiries, can be referred to https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.

How to schedule a blood donation appointment:

Fast Facts: Here are some helpful stats on COVID-19 as of 4/16/20

Cases of COVID-19: (as of 4/16/20)

U.S.  current case count – There are currently at least 671,151 cases and 33,268 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins and other media sources. 

Oregon current case count: 1,736Benton: 27

Clackamas: 150

Clatsop: 6

Columbia: 14

Coos: 1

Crook: 1Curry: 3

Deschutes: 59

Douglas: 22

Grant: 1

Hood River: 4

Jackson: 47

Jefferson: 1

Josephine: 19

Klamath: 29

Lane: 45

Lincoln: 4
Linn: 54

Malheur: 5

Marion: 309

Morrow: 5

Multnomah: 448

Polk: 30

Sherman: 1

Tillamook: 5

Umatilla: 22Union: 4Wallowa: 1Wasco: 10Washington: 376Yamhill: 33
Testing – in Oregon: As of 4/16/20Positive: 1,736

Negative: 33,202

Total (since 1/24): 34,938