News from Representative Smucker
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IMPORTANT UPDATES from CONGRESSMAN SMUCKER

As our community and nation continue to battle the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, I want to ensure that you have the most up to date information. On my website I have a dedicated coronavirus page with information from the state, local, and federal government. Visit my dedicated coronavirus page here. To view the actions that Congress has taken click here. I have dedicated pages for small business owners, individuals that have questions relating to the economic relief payments, and for those looking to lend a hand

President Trump Offers Plan for Opening Up America Again 

President Trump offered a great blueprint to re-open the American economy. While there is no magic wand that can be waved to immediately return to normal, the President’s plan is a gradual, data-driven approach which recognizes each state is facing and responding to different circumstances with COVID-19. This federal system is what the Framers of our Constitution intended. The President’s plan highlights the continued importance of following social distancing guidelines to continue to slow the spread and flatten the curve. We will need to continue to practice these guidelines and recognize this virus will continue to impact our daily lives. 

How Pennsylvania moves forward will now largely be up to Gov. Tom Wolf. I would encourage the Governor to allow the opening of businesses which can safely operate while closely adhering to social distancing and safety guidelines. Neighboring states are observing the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s essential critical infrastructure guidance, while Gov. Wolf has chosen to hand-pick winners and losers in an uncoordinated rollout of his business closure order and secretive waiver process.  

Learn more about President Trump’s plan by clicking here.


COVID-19 Updates

On Tuesday April 14, I participated in a press conference with Lancaster County Commissioners Josh Parsons, Ray D’Agostino and Lancaster General Health to highlight the actions that Lancaster County, the federal government, and our local health systems have taken to help fight against COVID-19. As the weeks ahead will be difficult, we must remember to listen to federal, county, and local officials to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The work that we have already done following social distancing guidelines has undoubtedly had an impact and has saved lives. By closely adhering to social distancing guidelines now, we are preventing cases next week. I know that with the continued effort of everyone in our country and community we will flatten the curve and help keep our most vulnerable and those battling on the front lines safe. Click here to watch a story from WGAL on the press conference.


Pennsylvania Department of Health and Local Data

As I previously mentioned, it is extremely important that we follow guidelines and continue to stay home. Flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 is critical. The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently released a hospital preparedness dashboard. Click the image below to view the preparedness of York and Lancaster counties’ health systems.

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Lancaster County has released a dashboard to view the impact that COVID-19 has had on our Lancaster community. Click the image below to view COVID-19 data in Lancaster County.

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Economic Impact Payment Information & IRS Web Portal

The CARES Act also included provisions to provide direct economic relief payments to Americans. Many Americans should have seen the payments in their bank accounts by now, if you have yet to receive your payment and are not sure if you qualify visit the IRS website for more information. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Portal here.


Paycheck Protection Program Needs Continued Funding 

Small businesses are the backbone of our country and provide millions of jobs to hard-working Americans. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created to ensure that small businesses would be able to re-hire their employees and to save businesses that were in a good financial situation prior to COVID-19. To date, nearly $16 billion has been approved to support businesses in Pennsylvania and billions approved to help businesses right here in our district.

Unfortunately, PPP has run out of funding, because Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are insisting on their own partisan wish list. PPP is a critical and bipartisan program which is saving countless jobs.

Letting the funding for PPP lapse is unacceptable. Congress must swiftly authorize additional funding.

Click the image below for additional details on how the PPP has been implemented. 

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Expanded and Enhanced Unemployment Compensation 

The CARES Act increased funding for unemployment claims to allow for an additional $600 for those who qualify. If you are self-employed or an  independent contractor, you are now eligible to file an unemployment claim and the application is now available.  To learn more about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance click here.


Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

Funding in Our Community

The CARES Act signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27 had provisions to give money to local community health centers to help them combat COVID-19. Two health centers in our congressional district received a combined $1.5 million. The Lancaster Health Center received $894,650 from the CARES Act and Welsh Mount Health Centers received $784,025. These funds will help our community health centers be better prepared to fight COVID-19 and provide needed care to our community. I spoke with our local health centers this week to discuss the support provided in the CARES Act to learn about what they are seeing in our community, as it relates COVID-19.

Nearly $14 billion in funding has been provided to support higher education students and institutions. Over $6 billion of this funding is required to be used by institutions to support students whose education was interrupted due to COVID-19. Additional information on this announcement can be found here. 


America Works Together

America is and always will be a country that comes together in times of crisis. When America is in need we step up to the plate and help each other. Over the past month our community has shined bright and acts as an example to the rest of the country. Local companies have changed their factories to produce hand sanitizer and build hospital beds.

Local organizations and volunteers have been providing food to the homeless. If you think your business can be re-purposed to produce needed supplies to help combat COVID-19 visit the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal here.

People have provided food to the doctors and nurses battling COVID-19 on the front lines. Members of the Amish community launched a project to provide over 13,000 masks to healthcare workers and have had volunteers making roughly 2,500 a day. Click here to read the article featured in the LNP|Lancasteronline. These are just some of many examples of those making a difference in our community during this time. To see more stories of Americans helping out from across the country click here

In addition to the acts of kindness and support I want to thank the countless teachers across our district adapting to new circumstances, grocery store workers working in the stores, truck driver’s delivering essential goods, farmers for producing our food, those working in warehouses or logistics and manufacturers across our district producing needed goods for our healthcare workers. Lastly, to our doctors and nurses battling COVID-19, thank you for your hard work and dedication to keeping our community safe. 

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Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter! To stay up-to-date on my work in the district and Washington, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out my YouTube page where there are 100+ videos, many of which are direct responses to your questions. 

Sincerely,


Lloyd Smucker
Member of Congress

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