Coronavirus Response: Legislative Actions

Other Legislative Actions by Congressman Kinzinger on Coronavirus Relief

March 17, 2020 – Davis-Gottheimer Letter to Senate Leadership

  • Bipartisan letter to Senate Leadership requesting that they include more support for small businesses, their employees, and workers who may not be traditionally covered by unemployment insurance in their COVID-19 bill. The letter also requests increased flexibility and resources for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to grant and distribute loans.

March 18, 2020 – Letter to SBA Administrator on Emergency Funding to States

  • Congressman Kinzinger joined the whole Illinois Congressional delegation in sending a letter to the SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza, supporting Illinois’ request for federal funding through the SBA’s Economic Injury Declaration (EID) program. The EID is essential for companies facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak because it provides funds to small businesses across the nation to help them cover operating expenses during national emergencies. Small businesses seeking assistance can apply here.

March 18, 2020 – Cosponsor to H.R.6194 to ensure student veterans receive housing funds

  • As universities across the United States are changing their spring curriculums, many student veterans are learning that they will no longer qualify for fulltime basic allowance for housing and will only receive half of their allowance. This will cause financial hardship to many servicemembers who live in high rent cities, like Chicago. H.R.6194 would ensure that no student veterans will experience changes to their monthly housing allowances as a result of COVID-19 prevention measures taken by their universities.

March 18, 2020 – Letter to HHS Secretary Azar on Urgent Medical Equipment

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter to Secretary Alex Azar of Health and Human Services requesting action to fulfill the state’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) request, ensure Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has a robust supply of test kit supplies, and to work with the state to finalize and approve an 1135 Medicaid waiver which would broaden coverage eligibility, provide faster enrollment, and expand health care services.

March 19, 2020 – Letter to Governor Pritzker on PPE/MRSA

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker requesting that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) grant health care providers the ability to transfer patients with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) for the purpose of freeing up more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use against COVID-19. By doing so, we can relieve stress from the Centers for Disease Control’s Strategic National Stockpile of PPE’s.

March 19, 2020 – Letter to State Department, DHS, DOL, USDA on H2A Visas 

  • In response to the Coronavirus, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico ceased processing visa applications for the seasonal workers that are needed by the agricultural industry in the United States. Congressman Kinzinger joined his colleagues in sending a letter to Secretaries Pompeo, Wolf, and Scalia urging their agencies to take proper steps to resume visa processing to ensure our nation’s farmers have the necessary workforce to succeed.

March 19, 2020 – Letter to United States Trade Representative on PPEs

  • Bipartisan letter to U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Ambassador to China supporting ongoing efforts to rapidly increase American-made supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), but asking that they leverage our relationships with trading partners to bolster our PPE supplies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  Congress is hearing from manufacturers that they simply aren't equipped to produce it rapidly enough for the immediate need, while simultaneously hearing from hospitals that need more immediately.

March 20, 2020 – Letter to Governor Pritzker on Funding for Rural Hospitals

  • Bipartisan IL member letter to the Governor urging him to work with the General Assembly to ensure Community Health Centers (CHCs) receive additional state funding as quickly as possible.  It is vital that CHCs have the resources they need to remain open, take care of their workforce, and provide services to patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

March 20, 2020 – Letter to House GOP Leadership Offering Support, Policy Priorities

  • This letter from Congressman Kinzinger to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) expresses eagerness to pass another COVID-19 legislative response package and requests consideration of the Congressman's policy priorities. These priorities are based on what he has seen and heard on the ground in Illinois, especially from the healthcare and business communities.

March 26, 2020 – Letter to POTUS in Support of Disaster Declaration

  • Congressman Kinzinger joined the Illinois delegation in sending a letter to President Trump requesting federal support for disaster assistance to help families and individuals across the state. All 102 counties in Illinois have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this important federal funding would provide Illinoisans with access to Disaster Unemployment Assistance, legal services, and other critical programs to help the state recover.

March 31, 2020 – Bipartisan Letter to the President Requesting Use of Military to Address Severe Supply Shortages

  • In a letter to President Trump, Congressman Kinzinger joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in requesting the (1) implementation of a Coronavirus Airlift to bridge supply chain gaps and ensure supplies, no matter where they are located in the globe, make it to the communities that need it; (2) deployment of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which has regional centers around the world that can help facilitate global coordination; and (3) mobilization of each military service branch’s healthcare personnel to supplement national testing efforts. The Congressman has also made separate but similar requests to the President to increase National Guard activation and use.

March 31, 2020 – Letter to SBA Advocating Protections and Clarity for Religious Organizations

  • Congressman Kinzinger joined his colleagues in requesting a commitment from the SBA that religiously-affiliated organizations receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will be able to maintain all religious practices, in keeping with the vast majority of other federal assistance programs. Their letter to the SBA also sought clarity on how entities affiliated with a religious institution, such as a school or day care center, should count employees to determine overall staffing levels and, by extension, eligibility for SBA assistance. Failing to address this issue could cause religiously affiliated organizations across the country, such as community institutions that are affiliated with their local Catholic parish, to shut down as they lose access to these vital programs. 

April 2, 2020 – Letter to the Federal Reserve on Utility Companies

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a bipartisan letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell asking that the Federal Reserve allow utility companies to utilize the resources of the Federal Reserve to help meet the needs of their customers. This letter specifically calls on the Federal Reserve to extend the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to commercial paper issuers in the Tier 2 CP market and are in sectors designated as critical infrastructure under the Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (PPD-21).
April 10, 2020 – Letter to Secretary Pompeo on Idlib, Syria
  • Congressman Kinzinger co-led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft requesting the Administration increase humanitarian assistance in northwest Syria and for them to work with our allies to protect cross-border aid programs. As Assad continues his assault on innocent men, women and children, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported cases of COVID-19 within the remaining population. Should this not be controlled, an already horrible situation could become catastrophic.

April 10, 2020 – Letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Biofuel Credits

  • In a bipartisan, bicameral effort, Congressman Kinzinger joined his colleagues in sending a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue asking that he utilize USDA's additional authorities under the CARES Act for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to assist biofuel producers during this unprecedented time. As the Congressman and his colleagues pointed out, production has already been reduced or idled at many of the nation’s 200 plants including many in Illinois, thus direct relief is urgently needed.

April 15, 2020 – Letter to SBA on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter to the SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza, requesting additional information on the status of the EIDL program and how the SBA is meeting the challenges facing this program as small businesses cannot wait much longer to receive EIDL funds from the federal government. Additionally, this letter assures backing of an appropriations request by the Administration to allow the program to meet the average demand of requests received from small businesses.
April 20, 2020 -- Letter to President Trump Requesting Support for Local Media, Broadcasters 
  • On a letter supported by a bipartisan group of more than 200 members, Congressman Kinzinger joined the call to request relief to smaller and more local broadcasting stations by expediting public advertising campaigns with local outlets and incentivizing a portion of stimulus funds provided to businesses for recovery efforts for advertising on local media. Local media, which are relied upon by millions of Americans for important news, are being hit exceptionally hard during these difficult times. Support is needed so that Illinoisans may continue to receive the vital information they need to navigate these unprecedented times.

April 21, 2020 – Letter to SBA and Treasury re: Assistance for Electric Cooperatives

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed a bipartisan letter to Secretary Mnuchin and Administrator Carranza urging them to ensure that electric cooperatives will be considered eligible recipients under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • SBA regulations stated that cooperatives are an eligible legal form for purposes of SBA’s 7(a) loan program and SBA removed “consumer and marketing cooperatives” from the list of entities ineligible for SBA loans in 2017. The CARES Act made clear that the PPP applies to a broader class of businesses, including any business concern with under 500 employees or that meets SBA size standards.
  • Congressman Kinzinger had heard that a lot of co-ops were continuing to get mixed responses from local lenders in their experience with the PPP, and this letter asked for guidance to make it clear that rural electric cooperatives are eligible for PPP loans.

April 24, 2020 – Letter to POTUS Requesting Relief for Farmers and Ranchers

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter to President Trump requesting rapid implementation of a relief program for farmers and ranchers and for the USDA to ensure the program is flexible and does not establish unfair or discriminatory methodologies, such as payment limitations.

May 7, 2020 – Letter to Secretary of Defense Requesting More Support from the Illinois National Guard

  • Congressman Kinzinger joined the Illinois delegation in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Esper requesting the activation of 2,000 additional Illinois National Guardsmen to continue the fight against COVID-19.

 May 7, 2020 – Letter to House Leadership Prioritizing Network Access, Supply Chain Security

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed this bipartisan letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy asking that, as Congress considers additional legislation to maintain economic stability and stimulate growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, funding is provided to support the development and deployment of open and interoperable wireless radio access networks (RANs) that can help enable more flexible, efficient, secure, resilient, and intelligent mobile communication.
  • As the COVID-19 outbreak has shown, increased stress on global supply chains can threaten public safety and hinder economic growth. By investing in open radio access network (Open RAN) technologies, Congress can help facilitate a network evolution with the potential to create lasting domestic economic opportunities for American workers while increasing supply chain diversity and promoting competition.

May 12, 2020 – Letter to SBA/Treasury in Support of the Staffing Industry

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter requesting that future Payroll Protection Program and Main Street loan guidance includes flexibility for staffing firms. Specifically, this letter requests that that loan forgiveness allows temporary staffing agencies until August 31, 2020 to determine forgiveness.

May 15, 2020 – Letter to Congressional Leaders on Federal Funds for Local Use

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter to Congressional leaders requesting the prohibition of Governors from withholding federal aid to local communities as a means to enforce the State’s health guidelines.

May 18, 2020 – Letter to IL Governor J.B. Pritzker regarding Funding for Municipalities

  • After hearing reports that local government officials had received very little information on federal financial resources being distributed by the State, Congressman Kinzinger along with his Illinois Republican colleagues penned a letter to Governor Pritzker requesting detailed information on the process and distribution of the Coronavirus Relief Fund resources.

May 19, 2020 – Letter to Secretary Azar Requesting Additional Relief for Nursing Homes, Senior Living Communities

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter requesting additional funding for nursing homes, skilled nursing centers, senior living communities, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities as they manage unique challenges while providing critical care to the most vulnerable Americans.
June 9, 2020 – Cosponsored H.R. 7066, the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020
  • Congressman Kinzinger cosponsored H.R. 7066, the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020, to provide relief to workers impacted by COVID-19 and support the re-opening of businesses.
June 10, 2020 – Letter to President Trump on J-1 Au Pair Visas
  • Congressman Kinzinger signed a letter to President Trump urging the continuance of the J-1 visa au pair program to ensure continued safe and reliable childcare.

June 17, 2020 – Letter to House Leadership on Providing Flexibility for America's Craft Distillers and Brewers During COVID-19

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, calling for H.R. 1175, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, to be considered on the House floor or included in future COVID-19 legislation. During the onset of the pandemic, many of these small businesses began using their manufacturing capabilities to produce sanitizing products.

June 22, 2020 – Letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration in Support of Illinois’ Economic Injury Declaration

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed an Illinois Delegation letter to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in support of a request for an SBA Economic Injury Declaration for qualifying counties in Illinois.

June 22, 2020 – Letter to Leader McCarthy in Support of Foreign Assistance During COVID-19

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed a letter to Leader McCarthy to support the inclusion of foreign assistance in the next COVID-19 relief package. Maintaining a forward presence around the world through foreign aid not only protects innocent men, women, and children aboard, but also ensures our own Nation remains healthy and safe.

June 30, 2020 – Introduced Resolution Condemning Cyber Attacks on COVID-19 Research

  • Congressman Kinzinger introduced H.Res.1031 to condemn cyber attacks on Americans and organizations conducting research related to COVID-19 and expressing that those responsible for perpetrating such belligerent acts should face consequences.

July 2, 2020 – Letter to House Leadership Urging New Lifeline for Local Governments During COVID-19

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed on to a letter addressing issues that local governments have faced during COVID-19 and the need to provide additional resources to avoid indefinite budget cuts critical to local governments and communities. 

July 14, 2020 – Letter to Leader McCarthy on Directing OSHA to Issue Emergency Temporary Standard

  • Congressman Kinzinger singed a letter to Republican Leader of House Kevin McCarthy urging legislation that would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a reasonable emergency temporary standard (ETS) to safeguard workers during the public health emergency.

July 14, 2020 – Letter to Secretary Wolf re: U.S. Immigration and Customs’ Guidance on Student and Exchange Visitor Program

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter urging U.S. Immigration and Customs’ to rescind the Student and Exchange Visitor Program guidance on limiting the ability of international students at institutions of higher education to take online classes.

July 16, 2020– Cosponsor to H.R. 7623, the Passport Backlog Elimination Act

  • On March 19, the State Department paused the passport application process and stopped taking new applications due to the coronavirus pandemic. H.R. 7623 would require the Secretary of State to submit a plan to eliminate the passport application backlog.

July 27, 2020 – Letter to House Leadership to Extend the Payroll Support Program

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter requesting to extend the Payroll Support Program created in the CARES Act through March 31, 2021, which saved the jobs of 950,000 frontline airline industry workers such as mechanics, baggage handlers, gate agents, catering workers, flight attendants, and pilots.

July 31, 2020 – Letter to House Leadership on Prioritizing Affordable Housing in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter urging enhancements to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to support affordable housing production and address disruptions caused by the current public health and economic crisis.

July 31, 2020 – Letter to IL Governor J.B. Pritzker Demanding Transparency on Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed onto a letter renewing demand for greater transparency of Illinois’ use of federal assistance. Additionally, the letter criticized the Governor for failing to fully utilize funding already allocated by Congress in multiple COVID-19 relief packages and refusing to disclose information about how smaller, rural municipalities can receive funding as Congress intended.

July 31, 2020 – Cosponsor to H.R. 7708, the Defend COVID Research from Hackers Act

  • China has used this pandemic to exploit other countries for political advantages and we must use our resources to protect American research. H.R. 7708 would help protect American advancements toward the development of a COVID-19 vaccine from hackers, and hold those that attempt to commit these cyber crimes accountable.

August 7, 2020 – Letter to Congressional Leadership in Support of Biofuel Producers During COVID-19

  • Congressman Kinzinger signed on to a letter urging to include much-needed assistance for the biofuels sector in the next COVID-19 package as biofuels have suffered from a steep drop in fuel demand due to the stay-at-home orders.

August 11, 2020 – Cosponsor to H.R. 7806, the Save our Stages Act

  • Due to the pandemic, live music venues will likely be the last places to reopen, making it difficult to survive during this unprecedented time. H.R. 7806 would authorize the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make grants to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to address the economic effects of the COVID-19.
September 22, 2020 - Letter to the Federal Aviation Administration re: Airport Waiver 
  • The Congressman joined his colleagues in the Illinois Delegation in sending a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration requesting that all airports receive a blanket waiver for airports' slot requirements, which require airlines to run a certain number of flights per day to an airport in order to keep their gates. Without this waiver, airlines would risk losing gates that will be necessary to maintain service once aviation demand returns.

September 24, 2020 – Cosponsored H.R. 8265 re: the Paycheck Protection Program

  • To amend the Small Business Act and the CARES Act to establish a program for second draw loans and make other modifications to the paycheck protection program, and for other purposes. 

  • The Congressman joined his colleagues in the Illinois Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to the Department of Agriculture expressing support for individuals in supportive living facilities (SLFs) that benefit the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). 

  • The Congressman signed onto a letter to the Director of the National Personnel Records Center highlighting the months-long backlog of Congressional casework requests and its negative impact on Veterans throughout America, especially those residing in Illinois’ 16th Congressional District. The letter supports developing a plan to address the backlog and requests a timeline for getting back on track. 

November 30, 2020 – Cosponsored H.R. 8485, the Health and Fitness Recovery Act 

  • This bill establishes through December 31, 2020, and provides funding for the Health Club Recovery Fund, from which the Department of the Treasury shall make grants to eligible health and fitness facilities to provide relief during the COVID-19 (i.e. coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. 

  • The Congressman signed onto a letter to Congressional Leadership in support of the $908 billion bipartisan COVID-19 relief package. The letter underlines the Congressman’s support for holding a vote on the bipartisan, bicameral package. 

  • The Congressman signed onto a letter to Congressional Leadership in support of fixing Treasury’s ruling that PPP recipients could not deduct forgiven expenses. The letter explains that these two rulings effectively make PPP loans taxable, which is not only contrary to Congressional intent but was unknown by the vast majority of PPP recipients when they applied for and received funds. 

  • The Congressman signed onto a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, requesting information on the current backlog of tax returns. The letter expresses concern about the potential burden this places on the American public during the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for the IRS to work swiftly on resolving the matter. 

February 3, 2021 – Letter to President Biden re: Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Negotiations 

  • The Congressman joined the Republican Governance Group in signing onto a letter to the Biden Administration, calling for bipartisan COVID relief negotiations rather than the current partisan reconciliation process.
February 11, 2021 – Letter to Chairman Pallone of the Energy and Commerce Committee re: Bipartisan Targeted COVID-19 Relief 
  • The Congressman joined GOP members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee in sending a letter to Chairman Pallone outlining the conference’s priorities to work in a bipartisan manner on further targeted and temporary COVID-19 relief. The letter expresses disappointment in the committee’s handling of COVID-19 relief and deem current discussions partisan.

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