Since the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike has worked to mitigate the public health and economic crises and fought to provide relief for families, local small businesses, and countless others in the 49th District and across the nation.
Mike immediately converted his monthly town halls into a virtual format and held them frequently with local public health experts to answer his constituents’ questions and make sure they had the information and resources they needed. He also created a COVID-19 resource guide to help families and small businesses better understand the new resources that were available to them.
Mike worked to pass multiple bipartisan relief packages to bolster the nation’s public health response to the virus, support those who lost their jobs, and help local small businesses stay afloat. In the first weeks of the pandemic, he helped pass the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act included $2.2 trillion in aid for hospitals and frontline medical professionals, more than a billion for San Diego and Orange County governments, a $600 weekly increase in unemployment benefits, direct cash assistance for those in need, $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers on payroll, and much more. He also supported the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to ensure the Paycheck Protection Program worked for the smallest local businesses and increase funding for testing and health care workers.
Despite those legislative successes, it was clear that additional relief was urgently needed to limit the spread of the virus and help our economy endure the pandemic. Mike fought to pass the HEROES Act, a comprehensive bill that met the scale of the crisis we were facing. While then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked that relief, Mike continued to advocate for state and local funding to help maintain essential services, increase funding for testing and vaccine development, provide another round of Paycheck Protection Program and direct cash assistance, feed hungry families, get veterans back on their feet, and much more.
After months of pushing for bipartisan compromise on another relief bill, Mike helped pass legislation that included $600 in direct cash assistance, a $300 per week increase in unemployment, $325 billion for small businesses, $32 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution, $82 billion for schools, and much more. He pushed for more funding in direct payments and many other forms of additional aid, and he continues to advocate for more relief to distribute the vaccine and help our economy build back better.