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WASHINGTON (April 23, 2020) U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) today held a teleconference with New Mexico-based reporters to answer questions and discuss the latest on efforts to assist New Mexicans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recording of Senator Heinrich's remarks can be found HERE
Senator Heinrich's as prepared for delivery are below:
Hi everyone, and thanks for joining me for another weekly update on our ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As you probably know, the Senate passed an interim emergency relief package on Tuesday.
The House is considering that as we speak.
This stopgap measure is designed to quickly shore up the economic relief programs targeted for small businesses, provide more funding to our health providers, and set the foundation for a much larger, national testing infrastructure that is going to be absolutely critical to restoring confidence and reopening our economy.
Resuming normal life relies on making COVID-19 testing readily available in every single community in every corner of the country, and ensuring that data is accessible and transparent. I'll get more into that in a moment.
But first I want to emphasize that it was clearly urgent to get more funds into programs like the Paycheck Protection Program as well as the Economic Injury Disaster Loans that can serve as critical lifelines for small businesses and nonprofits.
I have been pretty disappointed and frankly very frustrated with the shortcomings in the delivery of these programs by the Trump administration and will continue to do oversight and hold them accountable.
I hope the additional funding and key fixes to these programs in this legislation will allow the small businesses who need help--not just those who are well-connected--to finally receive it.
We still need to do so much more to invest in a broader public health response that rooted in science, and a strong long-term economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic.
I am not done fighting for New Mexico's priorities as the negotiations continue between the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House on the next major bill to protect our health and rebuild our country.
We need to make sure that much-needed federal support is reaching all of the communities that need help.
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