Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01)
Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK-01) and Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) headlined an online forum hosted by Biz2Credit.
The webinar was broadcast to over a thousand participants around the country, including small business owners in Oklahoma’s First District.
Reps. Hern and Espaillat discussed the ongoing work of the House Small Business Committee, on which they both serve, and what is being done to help small businesses suffering from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Some highlights from Rep. Hern’s remarks are below.
On the Paycheck Protection Program:
“Small businesses need our help… The Paycheck Protection Program aimed to ease the burden for small business owners, help keep staff on the payroll instead of the unemployment lines… The initial 24-week timeline of the PPP loans is over now, yet the economic fallout remains. We still need action for our small businesses.”
On the need to create a “Pandemic Playbook”:
“We were not as prepared as we could have been at the start of this pandemic, we all know that. But we can make sure that it doesn’t happen again by setting guidelines for future generations… This is a key priority for me Secretary Mnuchin as well.”
On the role small businesses play in our economic recovery:
“America is a unique place where a big idea and a dedicated work ethic can take a person from poverty to prosperity. We are a country of opportunity and hope. Despite the setbacks of COVID-19, we remain that place of opportunity and hope. In many of our communities, small businesses are leading the way to reopen. Small businesses are adapting to the new normal and meeting the needs of their community in a big way. This is the attitude that is helping our economy recover. We need further help and aid in that recovery as we rebuild what was lost and restore our lives to what they were at the start of the year.”
On upcoming legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program and help small businesses:
“HR 8265 is a bill with zero new spending. We’ve spent trillions so far, so it’s important that we move forward with something that has no need for new appropriations. It would pass overwhelmingly; it’s a very bipartisan – even nonpartisan – plan… The government doesn’t have any money of their own, it’s all taxpayer dollars, and we need to get those dollars back out to the businesses and workers.”
On partisanship holding up relief negotiations:
“We’re in the midst of an incredibly partisan election year… and everything is politics. People are getting really frustrated with it. When the House is controlled by Democrats, and the Senate and Presidency is controlled by Republicans, the only bills that matter are ones with everyone on board. You have to have conversations across the aisle, across the House and Senate, and across Pennsylvania Avenue. The Speaker is taking a real gamble blaming everything on Trump, trying to capitalize on this to get another term as Speaker… We’re all at the mercy of politics right now. We don’t need to worry about public relations bills, we need to work together to get this done. Time is of the essence.”