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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (21st District of New York)

COVID-19 Mid-week Updates and Information

For the most up-to-date information and resources for COVID-19, please visit my website here.

Participating in Nexstar Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19

Tonight, I will be participating in a virtual town hall focused on COVID-19 tonight at 7PM. The virtual town hall will be broadcast on Nexstar stations across Upstate New York, including WTEN, WWTI, WVNY, and WFFF in the North Country. It will be livestreamed on News10.com. Also participating in the town hall will be my colleagues from Upstate New York, including Rep. Katko, Rep. Delgado, Rep. Tonko, Rep. Brindisi, Rep. Reed, Rep. Higgins, and Rep. Morrelle. 

Following My Advocacy, the Department of Treasury Issues Updated Seasonal Employer Guidance 

I worked with the United States Department of Treasury to update seasonal employer guidance to ensure seasonal employers can receive equitable financial support when applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans. Previously, Treasury required seasonal employers who were applying for PPP to calculate the maximum loan amount they are eligible for using their average monthly payroll costs from months they were not in operation. Following my advocacy, Treasury issued a new interim rule stating that seasonal employers will be able to elect to determine the maximum loan amount using average monthly payroll from any 12-week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019. The North Country is home to many small seasonal employers who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. I am proud to work at the federal level to continue to push for parity for our seasonal businesses who will feel lasting economic impacts as we approach their peak season. We must continue to support them and provide clear and reasonable guidance as they apply for important SBA relief funding. Read more here.

Being Named to Bipartisan Northeast Congressional COVID-19 Regional Recovery Task Force 

I am proud to announce that I will serve on the Bipartisan NE Congressional COVID-19 Regional Recovery Task Force, which includes a group of Members from the Northeast, where COVID-19 has hit the hardest. The Task Force will work with leading economic and public health experts, and work together to create bipartisan recommendations and policy proposals to get Americans back to work. Also on the Task Force are Representatives Mikie Sherrill (Co-Chair, D-NJ), Pete King (Co-Chair, R-NY), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jim Himes (D-CT), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Dan Meuser (R-PA), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ). Examining how to protect public health and reopen our economy on a regional basis instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach is critical to the success of our region’s recovery. Small businesses and agriculture businesses are the backbone of our North Country economy, and I will bring a unique perspective to this bipartisan task force as the Representative of a rural district. I will use input from my conversations with constituents, business owners, farmers, and public health officials in my district as a guide for recommendations to protect public health reopen our economy and get Americans back to work.

The group will meet virtually weekly to discuss the following topics:

  • When and how Americans can get back to work safely
  • Replenishing stockpiles of PPE
  • Coordinating future stockpiling of ventilators, gowns, etc. among federal, state, and local governments and hospitals
  • Increasing access to reliable virus and antibody tests
  • Developing a plan for efficient contact tracing
  • Containing the pandemic and preventing future waves of outbreak
  • Addressing societal fears around returning to public spaces
  • Voting safely
  • Ensuring that production of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is returned to the United States from China

Announcing Grant Funding for Plattsburgh International and Massena International Airports

I have announced funding from the Department of Transportation for two North Country airports: Plattsburgh International Airport and Massena International Airport. Plattsburgh International will be receiving $270,000 for runway reconstruction, and Massena International will be receiving $404,700 for rehabilitation of runway lighting. Keeping our North Country airports updated with the latest technology and construction is critical for our tourism industry, which is an integral part of our economy. As we work to combat and ultimately COVID-19, it is important that our airports are prepared to serve travelers when our economy is opened back up. This grant funding from the Department of Transportation is encouraging news for our district. Read more here.

Requesting Additional Support for Northern Border Regional Commission Amid COVID-19

I sent two letters to House and Senate Leadership requesting expansions and improvements within the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) to help communities cope with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first letter requests that the NBRC have the discretion to allow projects to access up to 100% federal funding, for projects where the funding match has been impacted by COVID-19. The second letter calls for additional resources in a future legislative relief package to ensure the NBRC can help communities fund and complete their existing projects, respond to new challenges that arise, and build for a post-pandemic economy. Many communities in the North Country benefit from the important programs and projects that are completed with NBRC funding. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many of these projects have lost their local funding and are at risk. The wide-ranging economic effects of COVID-19 are likely to pose a threat for some of our most rural and economically distressed communities who rely on NBRC funding for infrastructure development, broadband planning and connectivity, and revolving loans. I sent these letters along with my colleagues to urge leadership to provide additional resources for NBRC funding, and I will continue to advocate for our communities who will continue to rely on this funding to respond to the public health crisis. Read more here.

In Case You Missed It – Media Round-up

Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Stefanik says bring China to justice for COVID-19

Press Republican: Stefanik Named to Northeast Task Force

WWTI: Stefanik to appear in exclusive live virtual Congressional Town Hall, April 28 on ABC50

North Country Now: Congresswoman Stefanik votes to replenish Paycheck Protection Program

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