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July 24, 2020
Dear Friend,

This Week’s Legislative Business

In Congress, I am committed to introducing and supporting legislation that helps support constituents back home in the 34th District of Texas. This week I had the honor of introducing three key pieces of legislation –

H.R. 7671 The Small Business Comeback Act

As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact South Texas and minority communities across the nation, I want to make sure small businesses have the resources they need to see it through this national emergency. 

The Small Business Comeback Act would complement business assistance provided under the CARES Act, and provide streamlined and tailored federal support for small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. Relief would help establishments retain and rehire employees, maintain worker benefits, and resume economic activity when the time is right. The Comeback Act would prioritize support for businesses that serve low and moderate income communities and women- and minority-owned businesses.

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H.R. 7672 The Coronavirus Victims Compensation Fund

The novel coronavirus has drastically altered the lives of millions of Americans. While other nations have swiftly enacted policies and procedures to flatten the curve and protect their nations’ citizens, America’s response, under the failed leadership of the Trump Administration, has been marred by a lack of a unified, coordinated and effective response.

The consequences of these failures have now resulted in the loss of over 144,000 American lives, and millions of Americans infected by the virus. This is a crisis the U.S. government failed to contain in due time. It is now the government’s responsibility that eligible Americans whose health has been impacted by this deadly virus receive adequate monetary compensation to help support them and their families during these difficult times, the Coronavirus Victims Compensation Fund helps accomplish that.

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The SAFE Kids Act

We are currently experiencing a deadly global pandemic that causes severe damage to the respiratory system. A system essential to maintaining our health, and one that is irreversibly damaged by the misuse of tobacco products. The Saving America’s Future by Educating Kids (SAFE) Kids Act of 2020 will enable the development and distribution of an evidence-based curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade students on substance misuse and abuse. This bill focuses on opioid abuse, but also addresses the dangers and harmful impacts of vaping, e-cigarettes, tobacco, and other substances. 

Providing our nation’s adolescents with evidence-based resources to curb recent spikes in substance use will not only help in alleviating these harmful and deadly addictions among young people, but also ensure our youth’s health.

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ICYMI: COVID-19 Telephone Townhall 

COVID-19 continues to surge in South Texas, and has now resulted in a record-number of COVID-19 positive cases and our region’s hospital systems being filled to capacity. 

Last week I hosted a Telephone Townhall where I was joined by a panelist of health experts including Ron Klain, Chief of Staff for former Vice President Biden and President Obama’s Ebola Czar; Israel Rocha, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals; Art Garza, CEO, Valley Regional Medical Center; Dr. Joseph McCormick, Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health; and, Dr. Joseph Masci, Infectious Disease Specialist, Mount Sinai.

With cases on the rise in Texas, it’s more important than ever that you do your part to help your community by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing as much as possible. 

To listen to a recording of the TTH, click here.

Census 2020 - Friendly Reminder!

You still have time to complete your 2020 Census! You can fill out your Census online, by phone, or by mail. To learn more please visit www.2020census.gov. Currently only 44.5% of TX34 has completed their 2020 Census. We need everyone to be counted to ensure we get the resources and funding our region deserves.

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Sincerely,

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Filemon Vela
Member of Congress

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