Dear Colleague on Loss of 500,000 American Lives to COVID-19

February 22, 2021
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Today, sadly, our country marks the loss of 500,000 American lives to the coronavirus: an horrific human toll of staggering proportions and incomprehensible sadness.  Every life lost is a profound tragedy that we mourn and that breaks America’s heart.

Tomorrow, as Congress convenes, we will observe a moment a silence on the steps of the Capitol for the 500,000 lives lost.  Members of Congress join Americans in prayer for the lives lost or devastated by this vicious virus.  As we pray, we must act swiftly to put an end to this pandemic and to stem the suffering felt by so many millions.

As we save lives, we must also save livelihoods.  Today, President Biden has extended a lifeline that will make a difference for struggling small businesses, save American jobs and power the American economy, while promoting equity and fairness across Main Street.  These vital reforms will expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to the hardest-hit businesses that anchor our low and middle-income and communities of color.  Importantly, they will ensure that sole proprietors, which are overwhelmingly women and minorities and which also serve our immigrant communities, are not left behind. 

The Biden Administration reforms will also build on recent PPP successes initiated by Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velázquez in increasing assistance to businesses with ten or fewer employees in underserved and rural areas.  They also build on the work of Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters in increasing assistance through community-based lenders that specialize in serving those markets.

As President Biden advances these actions, the House is preparing this week to pass the American Rescue Plan: transformative legislation to crush the virus and deliver urgently needed relief.  I again salute our Chairs and Members for their timely and values-based leadership to advance this legislation.  With its passage, America’s families and small businesses will know that Help Is On The Way.

Thank you for your leadership For The People.