June 16, 2020
COVID-19 is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. This virus was first identified in Wuhan, China.
For the most up to date information and resources, visit the following:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC: Testing for COVID-19
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- FEMA: Eligible Emergency Coronavirus (COVID-19) Protective Measures
- IRS: What You Need to Know About Economic Impact Payments
Learn more about the coronavirus emergency relief packages passed by Congress and signed into law:
- Phase I: $8.3 billion emergency funding package
- Phase II: $105 billion Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Phase III: $2 trillion CARES Act
HOW THE CARES ACT HELPS SMALL BUSINESSES
If you're a small business with 500 employees or less, how does the emergency relief package or the CARES Act help you keep your doors open and your employees on the payroll?
The CARES Act:
- Provides $377 billion in emergency relief for small businesses, including restaurants, bars, hardware stores, and nail salons, as well as those who are sole proprietors or self-employed.
- Allows 8-weeks of loan forgiveness for expenses that include payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.
- Takes meaningful steps to quickly get liquidity to businesses in order to stabilize our economy and protect jobs in Texas and across the country.
HOW TO APPLY FOR SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF
Small businesses can apply for this emergency relief through the Small Business Administration (SBA) at their community bank. A short summary of the SBA loans are below:
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program : Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program : Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
The Senate Small Businesses Committee has also developed a small business owners guide to the CARES Act here and has answered FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program here. For more information on resources available to small businesses, visit the SBA's site here.
CLICK HERE for additional resources for small businesses.
The #CombatCOVID19Challenge is a social media challenge launched by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y) to encourage Americans to continue supporting their communities as we all work to combat this pandemic and ultimately defeat it together. Sen. Cruz kicked off the challenge by delivering food to the Houston Police Officers' Union. In his video, he challenged former Texas Governor and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale.
For more information on how to participate in Sens. Cruz and Gillibrand's #CombatCOVID19Challenge, click here.
#COMBATCOVID19CHALLENGE IN THE NEWS
- Sen. Cruz Releases Video on the #CombatCOVID19Challenge: #CombatCOVID19Challenge: Together We Will Defeat COVID-19
- Houston Chronicle: Ted Cruz is starting an Ice Bucket Challenge for the coronavirus era
- KCEN: Sens. Ted Cruz, Gillibrand Launch Bipartisan #CombatCOVID19Challenge
- KTSA: Senators Ted Cruz and Kirsten Gillibrand launch "#CombatCOVID19" challenge
- Washinton Examiner: Ted Cruz and Kirsten Gillibrand launch 'combat COVID-19 challenge'
- Red State: Ted Cruz and Kirsten Gillibrand Kick off the ‘Combat COVID-19 Challenge'
- Washington Post: Sens. Cruz and Gillibrand launch #CombatCOVID19Challenge, encouraging acts of service during pandemic
- KXAN: Rick Perry takes Ted Cruz up on challenge, donates beef to Fayette County EMS
STEPS SEN. CRUZ IS TAKING TO COMBAT COVID-19
Sen. Cruz is working with federal, state, and local officials and business and community leaders to curb the spread of the coronavirus, protect public health, and take steps to help Texans return to work and get our economy moving again.
- Introduced the Work Safe Act, legislation that would provide tax credits to businesses that test employees for COVID-19 every week in states where the infection rates are above the national average.
- Sent a letter with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Josh Hawley( R-Mo.), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to President Donald Trump urging him to extend and expand his April 22, 2020 Proclamation on immigration to suspend all new guest worker visas for sixty days, and to suspend certain categories of new guest worker visas for at least the next year, or until unemployment has returned to normal levels.
- Announced his intention to introduce legislation to ensure chambers have access to emergency relief funding provided under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Sent a letter with Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) to President Donald Trump urging the Administration to reject states' efforts to receive taxpayer dollars for non-coronavirus related expenses, particularly bailouts for underfunded pension plans.
- Urged Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate state and local officials who are targeting and discriminating against religious communities under the guise of protecting public health.
- Sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging them to ensure America's small and independent oil and gas producers have critical access to capital to keep their wells operational, their doors open, and their employees on payroll.
- Joined Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Mnuchin, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging them to make credit facilities accessible to domestic energy producers.
- Sent a letter with Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Senate colleagues expressing concerns to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on COVID-19’s impact on developing countries and the potential geopolitical implications of relief efforts enabling China's debt-trap diplomacy.
- Renewed call for Congress to take swift actions to take up and pass the RESULTs for Coronavirus Patients Act to allow for the FDA's approval of drugs, devices, and other medical therapies already approved in other trusted countries, increasing access to life-saving innovations for Americans.
- Voted in favor of additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide much-needed Small Business relief.
- Sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, Administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA), requesting access for Chambers of Commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) once it's replenished.
- Completed week two of his statewide tele-tour across 27 cities to connect with communities combatting COVID-19 and the economic devastation that has followed.
- Joined President Trump's bipartisan task force to re-open the economy as the nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
- Announced with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) bipartisan legislation to enhance partnerships between companies in the United States and Israel – an ally and a global leader in medicine – to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating, and curing COVID-19 and lessen U.S. dependence on China.
- Announced his intention to introduce two pieces of legislation, the Equal Access to Care Act and the the Right to Test Act, when Congress returns to expand healthcare access and make testing more accessible and widely available.
- Announced intentions to introduce the "Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act of 2020," legislation to sanction Chinese officials involved in the ongoing suppression of medical experts, journalists, and political dissidents, amid Chinese censorship of its citizens that is helping to fuel the global pandemic of the coronavirus.
- Connected with communities in Central, Southeast, and East Texas who are on the frontlines combatting COVID-19 as a part of the first week of his virtual statewide tele-tour across the Lone Star State.
- Vowed to hold Chinese officials accountable for their culpability in allowing the coronavirus to become a global pandemic and endangering millions of lives around the world.
- Launched a virtual statewide tour to connect with men and women and small business owners across the Lone Start State working on the front lines to help Texas combat COVID-19
- Sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging him to procure and distribute serological tests from the Strategic National Stockpile to help determine whether an individual has previously contracted and recovered from the coronavirus and enable more Americans to safely return to work.
- Met with President Donald Trump, members of Congress, and business leaders to protect millions of energy jobs at risk as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, Administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA), expressing concerns about how the Payroll Protection Program of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is being administered in a way that undermines existing protections for religious organizations.
- Voted in favor of the third coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security Act.
- Delivered remarks on the Senate floor where he called on his colleagues to address this public health crisis and deliver real relief for the American people.
- Sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar urging him to use the Defense Production Act to immediately order the production and distribution of ventilators, which are critical to treating individuals infected by COVID-19.
- Introduced legislation to increase healthcare capacity and access and speed up FDA approval for certain vaccines and cures that could prevent or treat COVID-19.
- Voted in favor of the second coronavirus relief package .
- Called on federal officials to take four immediate, concrete steps to help curb COVID-19 and ultimately defeat it.
- Introduced the RESULTs for Coronavirus Patients Act , which would fast-track approval for certain drugs and devices to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
- Voted in favor of the $8.3 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to assist in the United States’ efforts to contain the spread and prevent further outbreaks.
- Convened a hearing examining the role of the aviation industry in reducing the spread of coronavirus with officials from the Department of Transportation (DOT), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Sent a letter with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to get answers about the incident in San Antonio , when an individual was released from isolation at Lackland, despite testing positive for the coronavirus.
- Held a bipartisan briefing for members of the Commerce Committee to hear from officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the World Health Organization (WHO) about how the U.S. government is working with other countries on a coordinated, global response, to this public health crisis and what more Congress can do to prevent further outbreaks.
- As news of the coronavirus outbreak broke, called for a travel ban to and from China, as well as advanced screenings at U.S. airports .
- Co-sponsored bipartisan bill, the Safeguarding America's First Responders Act (SAFR), which clarifies the certification requirements for survivor benefits under the Public Safety Officers Benefits Program to account for the unique challenges presented by the pandemic.
- Joined Sen. Cornyn and Senate colleagues in a letter to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Acting Director Regina Lombardo encouraging them to protect peoples' Second Amendment rights during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Joined Sens. Cornyn, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to engage with the Mexican government in efforts to coordinate the designation of essential businesses in order to avoid disruptions in the U.S.-Mexico supply chain.
- Joined Sen. Cramer and a group of 16 senators in a letter urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, to protect Second Amendment-related industries from discrimination by financial institutions.
- Joined Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) in sending a letter to United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres requesting that the UN convene an independent panel of experts to conduct a review of the World Health Organization's (WHO) response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
- Joined Sen. Cornyn and 26 Senate Republican colleagues in a letter expressing support for Attorney General William Barr's efforts to prioritize public safety as the Department of Justice seeks to address the consequences of the coronavirus in federal prisons.
- Joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and colleagues in a letter to President Trump urging him to work with our allies and partners such as Japan, South Korea, and European nations to pursue an open and transparent investigation into the origins of COVID-19, as well as the WHO's decision-making related to the crisis.
- Sent a letter with Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and 33 Senate colleagues to President Trump urging the Administration to maintain pro-life protections during the search for treatments and cures for COVID-19.
- Joined Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and colleagues in sending a letter to Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to thank them for the recently issued interim final rule on protections for faith-based entities during the continued rollout of the CARES Act and related federal economic relief.
- Joined Sen. Cramer and Senate colleagues in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging them to keep the financial assistance authorized by the CARES Act industry neutral and free of bias.
- Sent a letter with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Senate colleagues to President Trump applauding the administration's recent decision to include firearm retailers and manufacturers in the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advisory memo to states and localities regarding America's essential critical infrastructure workforce.
- Sent a letter with Sen. Cornyn, and Senate colleagues to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressing opposition to the appointment of Minister of the Chinese Mission in Geneva Jiang Duan to the United Nations Human Rights Council Consultative Group because of the Chinese government's decision to deceive the international community about the grave dangers of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Sent a letter to President Trump with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) urging for the President to support Governor Abbott's request for a major disaster declaration for COVID-19.
- Sent a letter to President Trump with Sen. Cornyn urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work closely with State of Texas emergency management officials and the SBA to increase awareness of the many financial tools available to assist Texans experiencing the economic impact of the coronavirus.
- Sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) calling for a single government-implemented online webform that would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to directly collect complete, accurate, and timely data to trace infected or exposed travelers.
- Sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with Sens. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Cornyn requesting information on the agency's readiness to prevent the transmission of coronavirus across American ports of entry.
- Participated in a roundtable discussion with the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association and commended their efforts to contain the coronavirus.
- Sent a letter to the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) calling for Taiwan to be fully included in the international response to coronavirus.
- Joined Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and other members in sending a letter to the World Health Organization concerning Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Organization.
updateS FROM SEN. CRUZ
- Sen. Cruz Issues Statement Upon the Completion of His Self-Quarantine
- Sen. Cruz Announces Decision to Extend Self-Quarantine Until March 17 Out of Abundance of Caution
- Sen. Cruz Office Announces Guidance for D.C. Staff
- Sen. Cruz Office Issues Update on COVID-19
- Sen. Cruz Issues Statement on COVID-19
To read Sen. Cruz’s COVID-19 newsletters, click here.
IN THE NEWS: SEN. CRUZ ON CORONAVIRUS
- Sen. Cruz on Fox News' 'Hannity': I’m Proud to Stand with Shelley Luther
- Sen. Cruz's Interview with Tablet Magazine: Discusses Pandemic Authoritarianism, China’s Coronavirus Coverup
- Sen. Cruz on CNBC's Squawk Box: Discusses Return to Washington, Need for Senate to Focus on Long-Term Recovery
- Sen. Cruz on The Hugh Hewitt Show: We Need to Follow Sound Science & Get People Safely Back to Work
- Sen. Cruz on The Tucker Carlson Show: Hollywood Fully Complicit in Massive Problem of Chinese Censorship
- Sen. Cruz in The Hill: A blueprint for our economic recovery
- Sen. Cruz on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo: Coming Out of COVID-19, We Must Fundamentally Reassess of U.S.-China Relationship
- Sen. Cruz on Justice with Judge Jeanine: Cruz SLAMS the Chinese Communist Party
- Sen. Cruz on The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino: Federal Government Should Provide Relief, Not Bailouts for Irresponsible Spending
- Sen. Cruz on Fox Business' Varney and Co.: “We Can’t Spend Our Way Out of This Crisis”
- Sen. Cruz on Fox News' 'Hannity': The Chinese Communist Government’s Responsibility for This Pandemic is Enormous
- Sen. Cruz on NBC DFW with Julie Fine: It’s Time to Get Texans Back to Work, Re-Open Our Economy
- Sen. Cruz on The Tucker Carlson Show: Right Now We Need to Keep Americans Safe & Help Them Get Their Jobs Back
- Sen. Cruz on Fox and Friends: Pelosi & Schumer: Your Partisan Games Have Real Consequences
- Sen. Cruz on The Ben Shapiro Show: We Have Got to Get the American People Back to Work
- Sen. Cruz on The Nigel Farage Show: There Are Real Public Health Consequences of Keeping Economy Closed
- Sen. Cruz on CBS DFW: Speaks with CBS in Dallas About Getting Texans Safely Back to Work
- Sen. Cruz on The Rick Roberts Show: Explains the Need to Safely Re-Open the Economy
- Sen. Cruz on KURV with Sergio Sanchez: Discusses COVID-19 Relief, PPE, & Re-opening the Economy
- Sen. Cruz on Yahoo Finance: Discuses the Need to Change Our Relationship and Supply Chain with China
- Sen. Cruz in The Dallas Morning News: The best way to protect America’s energy producers is to re-open the economy
- Sen. Cruz on Fox News: China’s Medical Censorship is ‘Threat to National Security & Global Health’
- Sen. Cruz on Lubbock's KCBD News: It's Time to Reopen the Economy and Get Texans Back to Work
- Sen. Cruz in the New York Post: Social-Distancing Restrictions Are Fine -- Petty Authoritarianism Is Not
- VIDEO: How Chinese Censorship Led to a Global Pandemic
- Sen. Cruz on The Michael Berry Show: Once We Get This Pandemic Under Control, That’s When We Will Get the Economy Roaring Again
- Sen. Cruz and Rep. Graves in Fox News: Helping Airlines Take Wing Will Boost Entire Economy
- Sen. Cruz on Fox News' Ingraham Angle: SLAMS Democrats & MSM For Politicizing #COVID19 Crisis, We Should be Coming Together
- Sen. Cruz on Fox News’ ‘America’s Newsroom': Relief for Americans, Energy Producers Top Priorities As We Combat COVID-19
- Sen. Cruz in Yahoo Finance: How the CARES Act Helps Small Businesses
- Sen. Cruz on The Joe Pags Show: Talks CARES Act Relief & China’s Role in The Spread of COVID-19
- Sen. Cruz Joins Texas Values to Discuss COVID-19 Relief and Religious Liberty in Texas
- Sen. Cruz on The Sam Malone Show: Talks COVID-19, CARES Act on the Sam Malone Show
- Sen. Cruz on The Chad Hasty Show: Talks COVID-19 & How the CCP’s Deceptive Actions Worsened the Outbreak
- Sen. Cruz on The Hugh Hewitt Show: Talks COVID-19 and the CARES Act
- Sen. Cruz on The Mark Davis Show: Discusses COVID-19, the CARES Act, and a Silver Lining of the Virus
- Sen. Cruz on Fox Business' 'Mornings with Maria': Leaders in Chinese Government Did Everything To Hide Coronavirus Crisis
- Sen. Cruz on Bloomberg Radio: Lays Out Four Priorities to #CombatCOVID19
- Sen. Cruz on Bloomberg TV: Discusses How the CARES Act Will Provide Relief for Small Businesses
- Sen. Cruz on CNBC: Discusses How COVID-19 Emergency Relief Will Help People Hurting
- Sen. Cruz on Fox and Friends: Relief is on the Way for the American People
- Sen. Cruz ‘Slams’ Senate Democrats’ Obstruction of Coronavirus Relief
- Sen. Cruz in Houston Chronicle: ‘Together, We Can Fight this Pandemic, and We Will Ultimately Defeat It’
- Sen. Cruz on ABC News Live, Dallas’ WFAA, KXAS & HOUSTON’S KTRK: Discusses COVID-19 & Decision to Extend Self-Quarantine
- Sen. Cruz on CBS This Morning: Discusses Decision to Extend Self-Quarantine
- Sen. Cruz on the Michael Berry Show: Gives an Update From Self-Quarantine, Discusses Latest on Coronavirus
- Sen. Cruz on Fox News ‘Fox & Friends’: Coronavirus Is Serious, and We Need to Treat It Seriously
- Sen. Cruz on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’: The United States Must Marshal Every Resource Necessary to Protect Life and Contain the Coronavirus
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- The Red Cross has experienced blood donation shortages due to the outbreak. Sign up to give blood here.
- The Central Texas Food Bank has asked for donations while they experience a dramatic increase in the need for resources. Find out more information on how to get involved or volunteer here.
- The Salvation Army is seeking donations for cleaning supplies. Find out more on how you can help the Salvation Army here.
TEXANS HELPING TEXANS
Sen. Cruz highlighted Texas' communities and businesses working together in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Cruz also released a new video, ‘Together, We Will #CombatCOVID19,' highlighting Texans' acts of heroism and kindness in the face of this crisis.
Texans Providing Meals:
- In Houston, Mattress Mack is teaming up with Revolution Foods to supply grab and go meals for students in the area.
- Food banks, including Meals on Wheels, Minnie's Food Pantry, The North Texas Food Bank, and Shift Dallas all across the Dallas-Fort Worth area are gathering resources to meet the needs of those in the community.
- SeaWorld San Antonio donated over 6,000 pounds of food to the San Antonio Food Bank.
- Houston ISD has partnered with the Houston Food Bank to offer curbside pickup service so families can receive food while social distancing.
- JJ Watt and his wife donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank to help feed those in their community.
Texans Supporting First Responders:
- Magnolia Pharmacy in Magnolia, is set to produce and distribute free, non-commercial, compound hand sanitizer to first responders.
- Mighty Fine Burgers in Austin offered free meals to first responders.
Texans Serving Their Community:
- A San Antonio native raised $10,000 online to help those who posted screenshots of their student-loan statements and past-due medical bills.
- H-E-B donated $3 million to non-profits around Texas to help support the community.
- Austin Energy has announced it will suspend shutting off utilities due to unpaid bills.
- Brookshire's the Texas based grocery store has dedicated the first hour of operation, a five percent daily discount, and free curbside to seniors in the community.
- La Familia Cortez, owners of the popular restaurant, Mi Tierra, in San Antonio, opened up a drive-up shop for locals to come and buy the essentials.