WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn delivered the following remarks today on the Floor in advance of the U.S. House of Representatives passing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act:
“Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak in favor of this emergency spending package. I believe this legislation moves us a step closer to my vision of making America’s greatness accessible and affordable for all.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities in our health care system that are having dramatic negative impacts on health outcomes in minority communities. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed back in 1966, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.’ How prescient!
“To know the full extent of how this virus is ravaging communities of color, we must test, test, test. That is why I am pleased there is $25 billion in this package for testing, which allows for my advocacy of mobile testing. We must make testing accessible and affordable for rural and persistent poverty communities facing obstacles due to a lack of transportation and local health care facilities.
“This pandemic has also laid bare the inequities in our financial system. The first round of funding through the Paycheck Protection Program went to businesses with long-term banking relationships. Many small family and minority owned businesses and non-profit organizations were shut out.
“That is why Democrats insisted that $60 billion be reserved in this package for community-based lenders, such as Community Development Financial Institutions, minority depository institutions, and credit unions.
“This legislation is not perfect. But it is a step towards making some much-needed relief accessible so that some hard-working, dedicated Americans can afford to maintain personal security, family stability and community safety.”