Rep. Payne, Jr. Discusses Next Stimulus Bill with District College Presidents

May 8, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. heard from more than a dozen presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities located in New Jersey’s Tenth Congressional District today during his conference call to discuss coronavirus-related educational funding.  The educational leaders brought up a wide range of concerns during the hour-long conversation, including the need for expanded student financial aid and flexibility in how institutions could spend coronavirus stimulus funds.

Rep. Payne, Jr. was joined on the call by Rep. Bobby Scott, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor.  Chairman Scott was there to answer any questions the leaders might have regarding how the next coronavirus stimulus package could benefit their schools. 

“Our colleges and universities are facing unprecedented challenges during this public health crisis,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “They have serious and legitimate concerns about the state of higher education in this country.  I wanted to hear from them and give them an opportunity to voice their concerns to Congressman Bobby Scott because he has been a strong leader in the House and a champion of higher education for almost 30 years.”

Rep. Payne, Jr. has been working diligently to get life-saving aid to his constituents and all Americans during this difficult time.  He introduced a bill to get hazard pay for the nation’s federal frontline workers, such as TSA agents, daycare workers, and veteran health care workers.  He co-wrote a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve a ventilator design that could help supply local hospitals in New Jersey and the rest of the country that the FDA approved a week later.  Once the design plans are posted online, local companies could download them and begin production immediately.  As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he has been in constant contact with FEMA officials to support them in their efforts to aid and protect the American people.       

In addition, he has voted to approve four coronavirus-related aid bills in the House to help the nation survive this public health crisis.  The most recent law, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), provided $484 billion to enhance the health and economic security of all Americans, including $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, $75 billion to health care facilities for protective equipment and care, and $25 billion to enhance the country’s coronavirus testing capability.   

The first law, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), provided $8.3 billion to fund medical efforts.  The second one, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), included free coronavirus testing for Americans and mandatory paid sick leave for workers.  The third one, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) authorized more than $2 trillion to Americans in coronavirus aid, including direct payments to low and middle-income workers, increased unemployment benefits, $349 billion to small businesses through grants and interest-free loans, $150 billion to state and local governments to help them handle coronavirus-related expenses, and $200 billion to support America’s hospitals and health care workers.

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