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US Rep Jody Hice

Help is on the Way
Dear Friends,

Last week, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Put simply, the federal government has a responsibility to help both individuals and businesses through this crisis. It was the government’s decision to shut down the economy – not American workers or the free market. Americans and their employers are not responsible for the economic damage being done by coronavirus, and I am pleased that the CARES Act will provide an unprecedented amount of relief. However, I have deep concerns about this legislation and I opposed its passage in the House of Representatives.

The CARES Act comes with a very high price tag of $2.2 trillion – and fails to include even a single section on how we will pay for this massive spending. As we incur this huge new debt, we need to at least consider how we are going to one day pay for it. Furthermore, this legislation was delayed for days while Speaker Pelosi jammed the bill with funding for liberal pet projects completely unrelated to combatting the virus. It now appears that the CARES Act and the two bills that preceded it were just the tip of the iceberg. Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats have made clear their determination to pursue a fourth and a fifth bill to advance the parts of their partisan agenda that didn’t make it into the CARES Act. In a remarkably short period of time, we’ve gone from spending billions to trillions, and there is no telling what future crises are coming. These “emergency” packages being pushed through Congress cannot be repeated for future disasters and outbreaks.

As I have said previously, I believe that we must balance smart health policy and smart economic policy. We need to provide resources to those health professionals and first responders on the front lines – and the CARES Act does. We need to help businesses stay afloat so that Americans have jobs to return to when the economy reopens – and this capital is on its way. We need to help Americans get through this difficult time – and the CARES Act enables direct payments and increased unemployment for folks. But we also cannot risk destabilizing the fiscal structure of our government and suppressing future economic growth.

While I did not vote for the CARES Act, I want to ensure that you have all the information possible so you and your family can benefit from it. Read on for more details, check my website and social media regularly, and please do not hesitate to call my office. Many of my staff are teleworking but we are still serving you!


Click here to watch my latest video with updates you need to know.
Taking Care of Business

As each of us does our part in the battle against COVID-19, we must also work to protect our small businesses. They are the engine that drives the American economy, and it’s essential that we continue to support them during these uncertain times.

The federal government and state of Georgia are both committed to ensuring small businesses can keep their doors open. Governor Kemp has announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) will be assisting impacted businesses across all of Georgia’s 159 counties. If you or someone you know owns a small business and are in need of economic relief, I encourage you to visit this SBA website to see the variety of new programs now available since the passage of the CARES Act.

For example, the Paycheck Protection Program is aimed at prioritizing the millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion towards keeping folks employed and covering operating expenses. Small businesses, certain nonprofit organizations, veterans’ organizations, self-employed entrepreneurs and independent contractors could all be eligible.

For a top-line overview of the program click here.  

If you’re a lender, more information can be found here

If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here

The application for borrowers can be found here

For more information, click here to view Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for assistance should you have any questions regarding these loans.

 
Charity Begins at Home

I'm so grateful for the many ways that residents of the 10th District have stepped up to help their neighbors during this time of need. Serving on the frontlines against coronavirus includes calling to check on a senior citizen and donating to charities that help those in need.

Feeding over 500 families a month, the Greene County Food Pantry works hard to continue this important service during the coronavirus outbreak. Volunteer Nate Arnett told a member of my team that he’s happy to lend a hand to such an important organization. “Especially in our current circumstance, it is important for people to come together to help each other,” he said. “Hunger doesn't stop due to a virus.” What an inspiring outlook during these difficult times.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is also stepping up by delivering groceries and essential prescriptions for those who are particularly high-risk to the virus. Thanks to Sheriff Scott Berry and his team for going the second mile to serve constituents!

And all across the state, communities are coming together to show support for medical professionals, caregivers, and first responders. In Monroe, people gathered in the parking lot of Piedmont Walton Hospital on Monday night with smiles, signs with encouraging words, and knees bent in prayer. Similarly in Augusta, throughout the downtown medical district, parking lots became places of prayer on Wednesday night as residents communicated support in a visible way. 


Photo credits: The Augusta Chronicle

Click here to watch a short yet powerful video of a parking lot prayer location. It is these simple acts of kindness and service, fueled by faith, that transforms our deepest fears into our greatest strength.
Virtual Visits for Coronavirus

Telemedicine and telehealth have really come into the foreground in the fight against coronavirus as these innovations enable doctors to continue serving patients without risk of exposure.

Through the Augusta University Health System, patients now can receive free, virtual screenings for coronavirus (COVID-19) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no appointment required. To receive one, simply visit the AU Health COVID-19 Virtual Screening website or download the AU Health Express Care app for Apple or Android devices.  For those without access to technology, please call their COVID-19 hotline at 706-721-1852.

Services, like these, make it safer for physicians and can help slow the spread and flatten the curve through limited exposure. More information on Augusta University’s virtual screening click here.


Broadband Connection

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, broadband internet has become more essential than ever to businesses, education, healthcare, and our overall quality of life. While we are asked to practice social distancing and remain at home, we can continue to be connected through the power of the internet.

Just this week, Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) launched a new website to inform Georgians about ways to connect to high-speed internet throughout the state. By visiting broadband.georgia.gov, Georgians can find locations to which they can drive for accessing WiFi, made available from telecommunications cooperatives and government agencies. Also through this website, Georgians can link to easy-to-use search tools to sign up for low-cost internet service at home.

For those who are looking to be connected to high-speed internet, more information can be found here.

While we are taking precautions, my team and I are continuing to work hard for you. Although we are not receiving in-office visitors, I welcome you to contact our staff by telephone and email. And as always, please continue to monitor my social media, website, and newsletter to stay updated on future developments.

Sincerely,
 
Georgia Council of MOAA
Georgia Council of MOAA
Georgia Council of MOAA
Georgia Council of MOAA

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