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Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 748, the CARES Act. This bill is far from perfect, nor do I think this bill contains all that I think is important at this time. We will continue to work.
However, this landmark piece of legislation will take a step in providing economic relief for the thousands of Texans in my district that are either at home or on the front lines as essential workers, as we fight to bend the curve of this pandemic that is sweeping across our country. Again, this is the best we can do at this time, but we will continue to work to ensure the needs of the American people are met.
This bipartisan bill that we are debating here today provides economic protection to Americans during this crisis by providing expanded unemployment benefits for those that have been laid off, direct cash assistance to our constituents so that they can use this relief to continue meeting their everyday expenses, and much needed funding to our Small Businesses so that they can meet payroll and overhead costs.
Furthermore, this bill provides critically needed funding and resources to our hospitals, community health centers, and local and state governments. We must ensure that when our communities are faced with this public health emergency, our systems can provide the urgent medical attention they need. We have also successfully agreed to the requirement for health insurance companies to pay for coronavirus testing, thus eliminating a significant barrier to ensuring that each and every person that needs to be tested can access testing.
Mr. Speaker, this is a public health crisis that has vast economic consequences. Our job in congress should be to ensure the safety and prosperity of our constituents as we fight this pandemic, This bill takes a step in doing exactly that. It will not be the only step we take in addressing both the public health and economic issues that this we will face throughout this fight, but it is a step in the right direction. I urge my colleagues to come together and support this monumental legislation.
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