Detroit Regional Chamber > US Rep. Upton: CARES Act Funding Going Fast

US Rep. Upton: CARES Act Funding Going Fast

April 8, 2020
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U.S. Rep. Upton: CARES Act Funding Going Fast, Senate Taking Up Next Round Tomorrow

Funding allocated to support businesses via the CARES Act is going fast, and the Senate is expected to consider the next wave of aid starting tomorrow, according to U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI 6).

“It is pretty clear that after four days (of lending) the money is going to be gone,” said Rep. Upton, highlighting efforts to support small businesses such as restaurants and building contractors as well as the self-employed.

“There is going to be more money infused in this to make sure paychecks are still there for these small business employees. Otherwise, those businesses may never reopen, and we will never get this economy moving back in the right direction again,” he added.

Citing President Trump’s recent suggestion of $250 billion in additional aid, Rep. Upton explained current conversations have grown to potentially half a trillion dollars. This would increase support for priorities such as state and local governments, hospitals and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The congressman encouraged those interested to tune in to Senate session coverage as a unanimous vote required for a $500 billion package could be difficult. In the next wave, Rep. Upton said there would have to be additional money for local governments because revenue sharing and other sources of municipal funding are taking a major hit during the crisis.

“I saw Mayor Duggan say (in the media) the city of Detroit would have a $100 million deficit because of this. We are going to need to step up to help and keep our cities safe and moving forward in the days ahead,” said Rep. Upton, noting it was something he thought the President would support.

Rep. Upton made the comments to Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy K. Baruah in the latest installment of the Tele-Town Hall series.

FDA Review of New PPE Cleansing Method Shows the Power of Bipartisanship

If a new cleansing process is approved in the coming days, local health systems may have some relief in their struggle to secure personal protection equipment (PPE). That would be a big development on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight – and it has bipartisan roots.

According to Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), he has been working with fellow Problem Solvers Caucus member U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 8) to fast track review of a cleansing process that would allow reusage of PPE based on work out of Michigan State University.

“Instead of shipping these products from Malaysia or China or wherever else they are coming from, we can actually reuse (those PPE products),” Upton said. “It will be a real credit to the Problem Solvers Caucus, but also how we can look outside of the box to help the people of Michigan.”

The process was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Tuesday night and a decision could come in the next few days, said Rep. Upton, who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which provides oversight to the FDA.

“The Problem Solvers Caucus has been an important part of my life,” said Rep. Upton, who co-chairs the Caucus with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn). “Most people don’t care if you have an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ next to your name, they want the job done. … We have no choice, with a divided government, that’s the only way to get a bill done.”

U.S. Rep. Slotkin will participate in a Tele-Town Hall with the Detroit Regional Chamber next Monday. U.S. Rep. Dingell participated in one of the Chamber’s first COVID-19 Tele-Town Halls on March 26.