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Walden Talks CARES Act with Erick Erickson


04.01.20

Click here or the image above to hear the interview

WASHINGTON, DC – After securing critical relief for America’s families, small businesses, and health care providers in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, “Phase 3” of COVID-19 aid, Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) joined The Erick Erickson Show to discuss government’s response to COVID-19 with host Erick Erickson.

Here are highlights from their conversation:

LISTEN: Walden shares how CARES helps small businesses

“…My wife and I were small business owners for 21 years. We were actually in the radio broadcast business, owned and operated five small market radio stations in Oregon, so I understand cash flow and small business and working with small business. You know with the President’s leadership, Secretary Mnuchin, and Kevin McCarthy and the Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell… they really crafted this to go right to the sweet spot for small business. So you can go to your lender once this is out in the marketplace …… and you can say – look I got to meet payroll, I gotta pay my rent, I gotta pay my utilities, I got a mortgage payment and you can borrow from that lender that money. And as long as you keep your employees on your payroll through the end of June, that loan turns into a grant up to two and a half times the cost of your payroll. So you can pay your people, you can keep your team together while the government has everybody sheltering and shut down. You can keep your team together, you can keep their health insurance going, you can pay them and at the end of June, you get up to two and a half times your overall payroll cost forgiven. It becomes a grant. This is hugely important.”

LISTEN: Walden on how the CARES Act helps the unemployed

“For those who have lost their jobs already, they can be hired back and your employer can take advantage of this. This is [for] small businesses up to 500 employees and you know, Oregon has a lot of those. That’s what we run on are small businesses. And then of course, if you are unemployed and you don’t have a job to go back to, we stepped in and provided a $600/week increase in unemployment benefits. Now, you can’t go quit your job and go on unemployment… That’s not allowed today. It wouldn’t be allowed under here. You can’t cheat and game this system. But for those who have already lost their jobs and are trying to figure out how am I going to pay groceries or the rent… this bill really provides a life ring and a safety net.”

LISTEN: Walden talks about the health care investments in the CARES Act 

“For our health care workers, not only do we invest in more protective equipment and the medicines that they will need, but we are making a huge investment to try and find a vaccine and a cure; including allowing medical innovators to access America’s – the world’s – fastest computers through our National Labs. They’re already pushing this virus strain against known medicines to see if maybe there’s something on the shelf that would work.”

LISTEN: Walden on the initial response and preparedness

“..I would actually have a little different view on it because I’ve been involved in preparing for pandemics for a very long time. Under my chairmanship two years ago, Susan Brooks, our colleague from Indiana wrote the law, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act that the President signed into law…I’ve been in these briefings. Look, everybody hoped that this virus would be contained in China, where it broke out. That’s what you always hope is that wherever it starts, you get it shut down. By the way that’s been the history of Ebola, SARS, and MERS. They were able to get on it, isolate, shut it down, stop it from expanding. Unfortunately, this one got away…”

“The President was way out front shutting off flights from China. And of course the Left lost their minds…and were attacking the President and all that… Remember [China] didn’t share information with us for at least the first four weeks, maybe longer. And so, eventually we got our hands around what was going, but even then some of the leading voices in this space and medical community thought we would be able to stop it, contain it, control it, and then we would manage through it. Well, then things changed. It got here. It spread rapidly, and is very contagious. So as we understand the virus better, we changed. And the whole government [response] changed….” “The whole issue here is that we don’t have an antiviral. We don’t have a vaccine so you have to fall on the very basic, the very basic medicine and that is shelter in place, wash your hands, social distance. And if we do all of those things, we can get the rate of contagion down…while we rapidly develop an antiviral to treat people.”

LISTEN: Walden on the President’s leadership during COVID-19

“I just want to again say the President and his team are doing a great job. He’s really leaning forward on this and we’re making progress.”

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