News from Representative Smucker
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IMPORTANT UPDATES from CONGRESSMAN SMUCKER

As our community and nation continue to fight the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 and begin to reopen safely, 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 state, local, and the federal government. You can view the actions that Congress has taken, information for small business owners, economic relief payments information, and volunteer opportunities.

Support for Small Businesses

In the third phase of Coronavirus-related relief, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which included provisions to relieve small businesses of the financial burden faced by COVID-19. Two provisions were created specifically to support small businesses and save American jobs: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and additional funds for the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant Program (EIDL). PPP was allocated $350 billion for small business owners to re-hire their employees and help to save businesses that were in a good financial situation prior to COVID-19. After several weeks the funding for the first round went dry and after delay from congressional Democrats, Congress was able to pass legislation to replenish the PPP and EIDL.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law to replenish the PPP with an additional $310 billion and the EIDL program with $60 billion. Across our district funds from the PPP are being used to save jobs. A recent article from LNP|Lancasteronline included an example of a local restaurateur, detailing how the PPP saved 120 jobs. To learn more about PPP success stories across the nation, click here.

The PPP has provided over $20 billion in support to Pennsylvania small businesses. The first round of PPP loans provided 1.6 million businesses with needed funds, saving an estimated 30 million jobs. More than 74% of loans went directly to small business, averaging less than $150,000 per loan. For more information on all of the small business assistance programs that the Small Business Administration is offering, click here.


Economic Impact Payment FAQ’s

Included in the CARES Act were direct Economic Impact Payments to the American people and families facing unforeseen financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. To view more information visit my dedicated website page for resources for individuals.

To date, roughly 3.75 million Pennsylvanians have received their Economic Impact Payment. Visit the IRS’s FAQ page for more information about eligibility or to find where your payment is.

Some residents may receive a status which reads “Payment Status Not Available”. If so, please visit the IRS’s FAQ on this notice.

As our nation works together in response to COVID-19, there are unfortunately bad actors who are attempting to conduct IRS or Social Security Administration fraud scams.

Click here for additional information from the IRS regarding scams.

Click here for additional information from the Social Security Administration regarding scams.


Supporting Our Healthcare System

In addition to increased funding for the PPP, the new CARES Act legislation included an additional $75 billion for hospitals to help them combat COVID-19. Our community health centers continue to receive help, too. This week the FCC released funds to support community health centers to increase their telehealth capabilities. Lancaster Health Center received $75,000 to increase telehealth to better treat and diagnose COVID-19.

Click the image below to watch a video about my vote to support more funding for the PPP and our healthcare system.

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Supporting Student Loan Borrowers 

The CARES Act provided needed relief for student loan borrowers by suspending all federal student loan payments and interest until September 30, 2020. However, roughly 7.2 million borrowers that have loans under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program did not receive relief. I co-introduced the Equity in Student Loan Relief Act with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-3), Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV-3) to correct this oversight. View my press release here. 

Click the image below to watch coverage of my legislation from Fox 43. 

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Reopening America Safely 

We have begun to see new cases level off, both locally and across the Commonwealth. Since the beginning of this crisis, we have all heard phrases like “slowing the spread” and “flattening the curve.” Those phrases are what public health experts refer to as mitigation strategies.

The goal of mitigation has been to ensure that our local health systems both locally and nationally are handling cases within their capacity. Mitigation efforts have bought us time and continues to do so. Every day, we’re continuing to see progress to increase testing capacity and learn more about potentially successful treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

We know that we can safely begin to get the engine of our economy moving once again by continuing mitigation efforts, following guidance offered by the CDC for businesses, and by continuing to take aggressive efforts to combat COVID-19. It is absolutely critical that we continue to lock down the virus, but we simply cannot lock down our economy for months on end. At a press conference this week, I urged the Governor to adjust his plan to allow Lancaster County businesses who can operate safely to reopen.

Any framework to open our economy must also be data-driven and comprehensive. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, we introduced a Back to Work checklist to get the economy up and running again. I joined Congressman Dean Philips on Fox Business to discuss this plan to Get America Back to Work. Click the image below to watch our appearance on Fox Business. 

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A Strong Community

Since the beginning of COVID-19 our community has acted together to help those in need. One member of our Glen Rock community, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jacob Machulcz, serves on the USNS Comfort helping people in New York suffering from COVID-19.

A local company has stepped up to help first responders by offering to clean their vehicles for free, offering a service that not only sanitizes the vehicles but also that keeps people safe. WGAL News 8 covered their selfless effort.
 
Since more people are staying home, the food supply chain has been altered and farmers in our area are forced to navigate decreased demand for certain products. A local company purchased thousands of gallons of milk from a dairy farm that otherwise would have dumped the milk. The dairy products were donated to families in need. These are just some of the amazing stories that have occurred over the past couple of weeks.

The American people are stronger when we act together. Each day truck drivers, delivery carriers, grocery store workers, manufacturers, and countless others help make our lives at home easier by providing us with essential goods. Teachers have adjusted their classrooms online to continue to provide their students with a quality education. And very importantly, our doctors, nurses, and first responders are out there every day on the front lines battling COVID-19. To each one of you: thank you for your service.

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Here to Serve

If you have any questions or issues with any federal agency, please know that my office is here to assist you. You can call our district or Washington, DC offices for assistance or visit my website by clicking here for more assistance for any issue with a federal agency or department. 


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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