Working Hard to Rebuild our National Security, Improve Economic Opportunity & Protect our Constitutional Liberties

Coronavirus

The federal government is hard at work to protect the safety and security of all Americans.  This page is a resource for all Texans to get updated news and information on the Coronavirus.  If you need additional information, please contact a member of my team in Washington, DC, or in Texas.  My staff is all hard at work and ready to assist you with any concerns you may have.


LEGISLATIVE ACTION

On March 4, 2019, Congress passed H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental, which provides $7.8 billion in emergency spending for response to the Coronavirus.  This money will go towards expediting vaccine development, purchasing essential testing equipment and supplies, and robust coordination with healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies.  It includes over $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more widely available; $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); $1 billion for state and local response efforts; and $1.3 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to protect Americans abroad.

For information on the legislation passed March 4th, please click here.

On March 16, Congress passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a second emergency supplemental funding bill to provide further assistance to those who have been directly affected by the Coronavirus and its economic impact.  The bill contains emergency spending for senior citizens, women, children, and low-income families.  It also requires all commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Indian Health Service, and TRI-CARE to cover, without cost, testing for COVID-19.

For more information on the legislation passed on March 13th, please click here.

On March 27, 2020, the House passed, and President Trump signed into law, H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  This bill was the third measure passed by Congress to address the public health and economic challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CARES Act represents a strong commitment from the federal government to survive and to recover as quick as possible.  Listed below are some highlights of the CARES Act.  For a more detailed look at the bill click here.  For more information on the rebate checks for Americans included in the CARES Act, please click here.  

On April 23, 2020, the House passed, and President Trump signed into law, H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.  This bill was the fourth measure passed by Congress to address the public health and economic challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  H.R. 266 provides an additional $500 billion for small businesses, workers, and health care workers.  

For more information on the legislation passed on April 23, please click here.


EXECUTIVE ACTION

On April 22, President Trump announced guidelines to reopen the country safely to help Americans get back to work.  These guidelines for states lay out key metrics to follow when making decisions about what businesses should be allowed to open up.  For more information on the White House guidelines, please click here.  On April 27, the State of Texas published their guidance for reopening the state.  For more information on the announcement, please click here.

Numerous federal agencies, in addition to those identified above, are working in concert to address the threat. One of the key agencies is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides regular updates here. Additionally, the CDC has provided specific updates concerning the following:

Prevention and Treatment

FAQs: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Children

Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


More information can also be found at the National Institutes of Health, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.


RESOURCES FOR TEXANS

Congress has taken steps to help those who have been directly affected by these responses to deal with COVID-19 challenges.  Congress extended unemployment benefits for four months to help those Texans who are out of work and need assistance paying bills.  These benefits will be administered by the state of Texas.  For more information, or to apply for benefits, please click here.

Congress has also passed legislation that provides direct relief to Americans.  These special Economic Impact Payments are a one-time payment to help Americans who have been affected by the Coronavirus.  For specific information about the recovery relief checks, please click here.  This payment should have been sent to you either by paper check, by debit card, or by direct deposit.  If you have not received your payment, the IRS has created a special tool to check on the status.  

The Paycheck Protection Program created by Congress allows the Small Business Administration (SBA) to administer loans that are designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.  SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and if the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.  So far, the PPP has delivered over $500 billion in loans to more than four million small businesses nationwide.  The program is available through June 30, 2020.  For more information, please click here, and to begin applying, please click the link here.

GENERAL PREVENTION


The best way to prevent yourself from getting the Coronavirus is to follow basic prevention guidance from the CDC:

  • Wash your hands and face often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; and
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


FOR SPECIFIC AUDIENCES

If you fall into one of these categories, the CDC has detailed information to help you make smart decisions.

Businesses

Caregivers

Healthcare Professionals

Households

People Who Are Sick

Pregnant Women and children

Schools

Travelers


VETERANS

This situation is evolving rapidly.  To keep up to date with the latest information from the VA, please visit the VA's dedicated website.  Guidance from local VA medical facilities about their current operating status is available on each facility's website, which can be found through the VA's facility locator tool.

If you believe that you have COVID-19, before visiting your local medical facility, community provider, urgent care center, or emergency department, I encourage you to call your local medical facility or call MyVA311 at 844-698-2311.


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For nearly a decade, if the United States wanted to explore space, we had to rely on foreign nations to get us there. Today, however, unprecedented cooperation between the federal government and American private companies gave rise to a new era of American leadership in space exploration. Congratulations SpaceX and NASA!

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RT @WhiteHouse: 2.5 MILLION jobs were created in May—the most recorded in a single month, ever!