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Capito Capitol Update 8/1

Financial Lifeline

Writing in The Martinsburg Journal, Senator Capito, alongside Administrator of the Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza, commended the efficacy of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to aid small businesses under financial stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Importantly, the Trump Administration and Congress have worked to ensure these forgivable loans were available to businesses most in need, especially those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals that have been disproportionately hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, including rural areas in West Virginia,” wrote Senator Capito and Administrator Carranza. 

The CARES Act, supported by Senator Capito, has distributed almost $2 billion in PPP to over 17,000 small businesses across West Virginia. Last week, Senator Capito and Senate colleagues introduced the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act to continue to give small businesses the financial relief they need. 

“As the pandemic continues, we’re making tweaks that improve the program and help keep employers and employees connected. For the smallest of our small businesses who took out modest loans, this bill will create a streamlined paperwork process with a one-page form, allowing business owners to direct more of their focus on working safely and less on red tape.”

Check out Senator Capito’s Op-Ed in The Martinsburg Journal: Forgivable Loans Prove Financial Lifeline

Leveling the Playing Field

During her time in the United States Senate, Senator Capito has been a champion of West Virginia’s coal and natural gas industries. Senator Capito has been crucial in reversing the devastating regulations put on West Virginia’s coal industry through President Obama’s “War on Coal,” and she is committed to investing in new technologies to extract coal and harnessing the economic potential in West Virginia’s coal mines. 

Last week, in a letter written to Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, Senator Capito and eight colleagues voiced their opposition to extending the wind production tax credit into the future. Senator Capito cited the wind production tax credit having a “comparative advantage” over other quality energy sources, like coal and natural gas. 

“The wind production tax incentive was originally intended by Congress to support a technology that was too expensive in its early stages. It was supposed to be temporary in order to level the playing field with other power generators,” wrote the senators. “However, over time, the reverse has occurred. These tax provisions have become a competitive advantage to wind generators.”

“We must do all we can to encourage economic development in our country and give our businesses the resources they need to make it through this difficult time”

American Made

After seeing the danger of American reliance on China for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Capito is working to make the United States self-sufficient in PPE. 

Last week, Senator Capito, alongside Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Mike Rounds, unveiled the U.S. MADE Act of 2020 to prioritize the manufacturing of face shields and surgical masks in American factories. The sponsors believe ending the Chinese supply chain of PPE is critical to bolstering American national security and will make the United States better equipped in combating the ongoing pandemic. 

“One of our biggest takeaways from coronavirus is that we really need to reassess our medical supply chain. It’s so important that we take every opportunity to buy American made products and support American business,” said Senator Capito. “We must do all we can to encourage economic development in our country and give our businesses the resources they need to make it through this difficult time, which is why this legislation is so critical. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the U.S. MADE Act of 2020, which prioritizes American manufacturing and supports our workforce. This legislation makes critical changes that will lessen our dependence on other countries like China when it comes to manufacturing testing agents and PPE materials so we can deliver resources quickly and efficiently, while also supporting our own economy.

Providing Elevated Relief to West Virginia Hospitals

In June, Senator Capito secured almost $200 million in Provider Relief Fund Payments to be distributed to financially strained hospitals across West Virginia. This week, Senator Capito continued her efforts to support West Virginia’s healthcare industry by allocating funds to the Beckley ARH Hospital. The $9.75 million in funding comes from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and will help the Beckley hospital recover financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This funding is welcome news, particularly as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of this outbreak, I have constantly advocated for elevated relief to our hospitals, especially in more rural areas of West Virginia,” said Senator Capito.” It is crucial that our hospitals and medical professionals have the support they need to do their jobs effectively, and this funding is a critical component towards that. I will continue to work closely with our medical providers and local leaders so we can continue delivering the resources West Virginians rely on.”

Supporting the Next Generation of West Virginia’s Nurses

Senator Capito, in her role as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced federal funding directed to Fairmont State University Nurse Education Practice Quality Retention Simulation Education Training Program. Through the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Fairmont State University will receive almost $500,000 to train nurses needed by the state of West Virginia. 

“Nurses play such a vital role in our communities, especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Capito. “Fairmont State’s nursing program is known for its excellence in West Virginia and has produced thousands of graduates who are now practicing health care professionals across our state and country. I am proud of the work being done at the Fairmont State School of Nursing and look forward to the positive impact that this program will have on West Virginia.”

Local News Spotlight

MetroNews: Capito Speaks on COVID Pandemic Effects on Opioid Crisis: “Challenges of a nation and individuals fill out our reality today. I wish the drug addiction epidemic did not have to continue to be one of them,” Capito said. “Sadly, as many of our families across this nation know oh too well, it continues to ruin many lives.”