Together, We Will Get Through Coronavirus
Washington, DC, April 10, 2020
Most of us — I hope — are sheltering in place, spending much more time with our loved ones, and only leaving the confines of home for daily walks or grocery store runs.
Originally Appeared in the Round Rock Leader on April 3, 2020
In the last month, nearly every aspect of our daily life has changed.
Most of us — I hope — are sheltering in place, spending much more time with our loved ones, and only leaving the confines of home for daily walks or grocery store runs. It’s obvious we are in constantly changing and unprecedented times, but one thing remains constant: the American people can get through anything when we work together.
Working together means staying home, practicing social distancing and thinking about the impact we all have on those around us. These actions can flatten the curve and keep Texans healthy.
While I say that, I know that the effects of stay-at-home orders and the government’s decision to close restaurants, bars and businesses has been exceptionally difficult. Make no mistake, I support these county and state directives because they are crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19. But I know it has also created unimaginable hardships for our businesses, laid off employees and their families.
In Texas’ 31st District, I’ve spoken with over 700 small business owners that are trying to keep their businesses afloat and their employees paid. It’s their stories that I have carried with me as I worked with my colleagues across the country to help provide assistance to small businesses and individuals that are struggling through no fault of their own.
So far, the U.S. Congress has put partisanship aside and worked together to pass three emergency response bills to tackle not only the virus, but the impact of the virus on businesses and employees. First an emergency funding bill that will provide $7.8 billion to state and local health departments to prepare for and respond to the rapidly spreading pandemic in early March.
Second, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that will provide free medically necessary coronavirus testing, paid sick and medical leave for workers, and emergency nutritional assistance to ensure that struggling parents can feed their children while schools are closed.
Third, the CARES Act that passed in the U.S. House on March 27 and was signed into law by the president shortly after.
With our country in dire need of assistance, the U.S. Congress has provided over $2 trillion to small businesses, health care professionals, individuals and industry. This historic legislation has included direct payments of $1,200 to individuals, expanded financial programs to help businesses stay afloat and pay employees, stabilization to key industries to protect jobs important to the U.S. economy, and provided more supplies for health care workers and hospitals.
As quickly as they can, federal and state agencies are implementing these emergency bills, and I think the American people will see some relief soon. However, Congress’ work is not done, and I continue to bring my constituents’ stories to the legislative discussions that are ongoing in the House.
Rest assured, I won’t stop until our nation has recovered from this horrible virus.
Through the most trying times in our country’s history, Americans have always banded together in the face of adversity. From natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey to 9/11, from economic collapse during the Great Depression to the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, Americans rise to the occasion to defeat any threat that stands before us, and the coronavirus is no different.
Together we stand, and together we will beat this virus.
Rep. Carter represents Texas District 31, which includes Fort Hood. He serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Army Caucus and Ranking Member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Appropriations.