Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019

Floor Speech

Date: April 24, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLDING. Madam Speaker, I rise to highlight the invaluable work that YMCAs across the country are doing during this crisis and urge Congress to ensure that they are made eligible for essential federal assistance programs in the next coronavirus package.

From the beginning, YMCAs across the state of North Carolina have been on the front lines of efforts to combat the spread of corona virus and care for the communities affected by it. For weeks, YMCAs have take the initiative on providing family care and assistance. In Garner, NC, for example, the Poole Family YMCA has set up day camps for the children of essential personnel and runs blood drives. Their work has played an invaluable role in ensuring health care workers can continue fighting and that hard-hit communities have access to basic necessities.

Despite providing these essential services, YMCAs have been left out of the federal assistance programs they desperately need. YMCAs in Raleigh and in Charlotte have furloughed aver 95 percent of their staffs and left many on extended unpaid leave as they continue to operate on a deficit throughout this crisis.

Unfortunately, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which Congress passed specifically to help groups like this, does not allow affiliated YMCAs that collectively employ over 500 people to receive funds.

Madam Speaker, without federal assistance, YMCAs across the country will no longer be able to provide relief to health care workers and underserved communities during this emergency. I ask that Congress work to ensure YMCAs that provide essential community services are able to receive funds through the PPP regardless of affiliation size in the next corona virus package.

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