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Apr 16, 2020

It is important to set the record straight

There’s been a great deal of confusion over the three bills Congress has enacted to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and my votes on them. 
 
At the outset of the pandemic, I supported the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, HR 6074.  It appropriated $8.3 billion to directly fund research and development of vaccines, treatments and medical supplies to combat the virus.  It passed the House on March 6.
 
Most recently, I supported and spoke in favor of the CARES Act, the $2.3 trillion relief package that passed the House on March 27.  Among other things, it established the Paycheck Protection Plan to keep small businesses afloat, provided the direct cash payments that individuals and families are now receiving, and the liquidity measures to assure employers had ready access to capital to avert insolvency.  Despite its many flaws, I believed it was essential to prevent temporary job losses from becoming permanent.
 
The only bill I voted against was HR 6201.  It was brought to a vote on the House floor shortly after midnight on March 14 – just 15 minutes after it was introduced.  It required small businesses to front up to three months paid leave to employees at a time when those businesses had already lost their cash flow. 
 
Within days, trade and business associations advised their members to lay off employees to avoid this liability.  The biggest spike in unemployment claims came the week this bill took effect, suggesting that its effect was to cost millions of workers their jobs.
 
I have noticed a concerted effort to mis-represent this vote as a vote against all relief measures, and believe it is important to set the record straight.
 
Congressman Tom McClintock



Tom McClintock
McClintock's Blog