The Webster Wire

Listening to Floridians

Dear Friends:

The Florida Department of Health reported more than 2,926 new COVID-19 test results, with a positivity rate of 7.74% at 11:30 a.m today. While our positivity rate has increased this last week, it is important to note that our hospitalization rates remain low, meaning so far individuals testing positive are not requiring hospitalization.  Based on the data, there is an increase of positive cases among college-aged individuals. Florida continues to be a leader in protecting our most vulnerable – our senior population in Assisted-Living and Long-Term Care Facilities.

The breakdown of positive cases in counties in my district as of 10 a.m. are:
  • 199 cases in Citrus County with a positivity rate 7.6%.
  • 200 cases in Hernando County with a positivity rate of 6.9%
  • 763 cases in Lake County with a positivity rate of 2.3%.
  • 412 cases in Marion County with a positivity rate of 5.3%.
  • 286 cases in Sumter County with a positivity rate of 1.4%.
Please continue to follow the simple precautions the CDC and others recommend to protect yourself, others and help stop the spread.

Update on Economic Impact Payments and Tax Returns

The IRS continues to process and send out economic impact (tax rebate) payments. As a reminder, some may receive this payment via a debit card. These are Visa debit cards with logo for MetaBank on back and will likely come in a plain envelope marked “Money Network Cardholder Services.” If you are waiting for an update on your Payment Status or are still receiving the “Payment Status Not Available” on the portal the IRS has set up a hotline, (800) 919-9835, with 3,500 operators.

Paper tax returns submitted by Floridians are processed at an IRS facility in Austin, TX. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in mid-March this facility had to close. Good news is that it recently reopened and has begun processing paper returns.

If you received a Notice 1444 or a payment date from Get My Payment, but have not received a check, you may submit a contract tracing request to the IRS. Please visit my webpage, webster.house.gov/tax-rebates for more information on eligibility to submit this request and the steps provided by the IRS.

Release of Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information

On Friday, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department (SBA) announced they have agreed with the bipartisan leaders of the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee to make public additional data regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The SBA will disclose the business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, jobs supported, and loan amount in the following ranges:  
  • $150,000-350,000
  • $350,000-1 million
  • $1-2 million
  • $2-5 million
  • $5-10 million

Main Street Loan Program Opens Lender Registration

The Federal Reserve has opened lender registration for the Main Street Lending Program. This program is designed to support small and mid-sized businesses, and their employees, that were in good financial standing before the pandemic by ensuring credit flows to businesses in need. Click here for more information

_______________

America’s infrastructure is long overdue for critical repairs and needed advancements. Throughout my time in public service, I have been an advocate for investing in transportation and successfully advanced many innovative ideas and systems that have improved Florida’s transportation system. Monday, several of my colleagues and I introduced HR 7231, the Infrastructure Bank for America Act of 2020. This bill will support wholesale lending to infrastructure projects through state and local governments, state infrastructure banks and private entities.

While federal infrastructure investment is critical, the current level of resources from the federal government will not address America’s current infrastructure needs on its own. The Infrastructure Bank for America will serve as a complement, not a replacement, for existing programs and encourages states and municipalities to pursue all available funding sources. The bank will work with state and local governments to identify priority projects and infuse private capital to address our critical infrastructure needs. I am encouraged by the interest the bill has received from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Image

Rep. Webster speaks on Infrastructure Bank for America
in House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

_______________


Last week, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held its first markup in months. The committee meeting took 36 hours to discuss H.R 2, commonly called the “Highway” bill, and nearly 300 amendments. A surface transportation bill must be passed every 5 years and traditionally is developed with bipartisan input and support.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this year with House Democrats choosing instead to introduce a completely partisan bill without any Republican input and limiting Republican members to only a handful of amendments.  While the legislation contains some good provisions, the $496 billion-dollar bill includes policy provisions, burdensome regulations and funding levels that make no sense, have no bipartisan support and have zero chance of getting signed into law.

I hope now that this committee meeting – which was dictated by Speaker Pelosi – is done, that Democrats will abandon this partisan posturing and work with Republicans just like we worked with Democrats when we were in the majority. I firmly believe there are excellent ideas to improve our roads, bridges and transit systems on both sides of the political aisle. We will make better policy for the whole nation and produce a product that can be signed into law.  

Image

_______________

Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Port  Tampa Bay will be awarded a $19,862,930.00 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant. I supported this grant request and was thrilled and thankful to Secretary Chao for selecting Port Tampa Bay as one of the recipients. This port is a critical component of Florida’s transportation system and as it grows, it enriches Florida’s economy.  The regional economic impacts of success of the port are significant and extend well beyond the immediate Tampa Bay region.  Time and again, I’ve seen Florida port expansion result in big-time returns on our investment.

Image

_______________

Last week President Trump released a road-map for the PREVENTS Task Force, which is aimed at preventing veteran suicide. This task force aims to create a national public health campaign focused on suicide prevention for veterans, and as a result, all Americans. PREVENTS will prioritize suicide prevention research and work with state, local, and community programs to support veterans.

We owe our veterans a debt we can never repay, and President Trump’s action is another step in providing the care our veterans deserve.

 

Your servant,



Daniel Webster
Member of Congress

 

Constituent Corner

A constituent contacted my office regarding an issue he was experiencing with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The constituent shared with our office that he had backpay owed to him from SSA and had been waiting several months to be awarded these benefits. Our office submitted an inquiry on behalf of the constituent, and he was awarded his backpay within a few weeks of submitting an inquiry.

Constituent services is a critical element of our congressional office. The federal government is a massive operation, and my office is available if you ever need assistance in navigating the bureaucracy or cutting through red tape. We are here to serve you. 

District Update

Pam Jones, my Community Relations Representative in South Lake County, stopped by the Faith Neighborhood Center with Trish Kry, Executive Director, during a community food distribution. Organizations that came to help were Give A Day Foundation, Real Life Church, Groveland Fire Fighters, and City of Groveland Councilmember Dina Sweatt, and of course, the Faith Neighborhood Center volunteers.

Image

Survey

Do you believe schools should return at full capacity this fall?

submit your response

Results of last week’s survey which asked... “Have you returned to work as Florida continues to safely re-open?” Yes - 40%, No - 60%

unsubscribe