To the Class of 2020
Congrats to the Class of 2020
"Sometimes a storm in your life will blow you to a place you’re longing to be."
Americans across this country have made sacrifices in this battle against COVID-19, but I would like to take a moment to focus on our students, particularly the Class of 2020. For many of us, we look fondly back at the memories forged during the final months of high school: finishing our final exam, senior prom, our last athletic event, walking across stage at graduation. Due to undesired circumstances, you may not have those experiences, and I feel for you. But you will have unique opportunities to better yourself and better the world.
Often, setbacks can lead you to leave your comfort zone, give you new perspectives, and the ability to find new satisfaction and wisdom. My parents lived through the Great Depression and the lessons they learned were instilled in both my brother and me, and we truly have been appreciative because this has prepared us for many obstacles in our life.
Congratulations on your accomplishments and I know the Class of 2020 has an incredibly bright future and will achieve tremendous success.
This week, the House was in session for votes and committee activity. The Education and Labor Committee held a hearing with officials from the Administration, and I had the opportunity to ask questions about policies to protect workers as we safely re-open the economy. Congress has a lot of work to do to continue a flexible response during this difficult time, as well as examining current implementation of legislation, and anticipating upcoming issues as we begin to re-open America.
Improving the Paycheck Protection Program
I supported bipartisan legislation to provide additional flexibility to small businesses that have been approved for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. Among many improvements, the forgiveness period has been extended to 24 weeks, small businesses will not be penalized by high unemployment benefit, and additional flexibility has been given to businesses that must operate at limited capacity.
Increasing Veterans Cost of Living Adjustments
In the spirit of Memorial Day Week, the House also passed important legislation to authorize a cost-of-living increase for veterans who receive VA disability benefits. We owe so much to these veterans and I am glad we could come together to pass this bipartisan legislation. Once H.R.6168 is signed into law, the rates of veterans’ disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, and a few other compensation rates will match Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.
CFAP Aid for Farmers
The USDA began accepting applications for financial assistance from agricultural producers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) this week. The program is open to commodity, wool, livestock, dairy, and specialty crop producers who have experienced a five percent or greater decline in commodity pricing or supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19.
Applications for this $16 billion program will be accepted through August 28, 2020 and will be processed through your local USDA Service Center. For additional information, assistance locating USDA Service Centers, or to begin an application, please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.