Sinema questioned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about coronavirus relief for Arizonans during an oversight hearing on CARES Act funding
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema questioned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today in a Senate Banking Committee oversight hearing on CARES Act funding and coronavirus economic relief. Sinema called on the federal government to cut red tape to ensure Arizonans could more easily access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and Economic Impact Payments.
“Strong accountability and oversight ensures CARES Act funding goes where it is needed. It’s also vital to ensure Arizonans aren’t getting stuck in government bureaucracy. We must be able to cut through red tape and better serve Arizonans during the ongoing public health crisis,” said Sinema.
The CARES Act promises small businesses a $10,000 loan advance within 3 days of their EIDL application, but Sinema highlighted several instances where Arizonans received less than $10,000 and it took longer than 3 days to receive any funding. Sinema questioned Secretary Mnuchin about the delay and lack of funding, and she asked Secretary Mnuchin to assist Arizonans by quickly processing outstanding EIDL applications to ensure Arizona businesses get needed assistance. In written questions following the hearing Sinema also called for immediate additional, simplified guidance for Arizona businesses on PPP loan forgiveness. Sinema also highlighted over 500 Arizonans who have not received their full economic impact payment, and noted that until last night, there was no casework line or system at the IRS to inquire about the status of their payments. Sinema called directly on Secretary Mnuchin to ensure the IRS provides swift responses to Arizonans struggling to get answers regarding their stimulus checks.
Sinema holds weekly calls with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Arizona small businesses on which she answers questions about coronavirus relief and helps employers with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications. In the recent Congressionally-approved coronavirus package, Sinema helped secure $310 billion for the PPP loans, $60 billion for smaller, disadvantaged businesses, $60 billion for EIDL and grants, $75 billion for health care providers, and $25 billion for testing, including $11 billion directly to states. Sinema also helped secure a number of priorities in the sweeping coronavirus-response CARES Act law, including a $150 billion relief fund for state, local, and Tribal governments, $55 billion more in investments in hospitals and health care workers, and an increase in unemployment benefits. Sinema also recently wrote an op-ed outlining Arizona needs she is working to include in the next coronavirus-response legislation.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.
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