April 20, 2020
What We’re Standing For
Helping small businesses
With the economy shut down and unemployment claims already topping 20 million, small businesses need money to keep Americans employed. Several weeks ago, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as part of the CARES Act with that goal. But the $350 billion program has already run out of money with more than 1,637,000 loan applications approved.
What now? Senate Republicans made a push this week to replenish the PPP with an additional $250 billion, but Senate Democrats objected to the move. Nancy Pelosi went so far as to congratulate Chuck Schumer for killing the additional funds.
What’s their beef? Democrats are insisting on adding additional items to release the funding, including money for hospitals (which are already receiving aid) and cash-strapped states. Democrats also want to add red tape to the loan process and new rules on how the money is administered.
Why is this so important? Small businesses are more than 99% of all U.S. businesses, 44% of the U.S. economy (in terms of GDP) and almost half of the entire labor force. U.S. small businesses create between 1.5 and 1.8 million jobs annually, or 64% of all new jobs in America. Giving these employees and businesses a lifeline to weather the economic shutdown will ensure a much faster recovery when we hit the restart button.
→ Read more: Democrats want to gum up payroll protection (Wall Street Journal )
→ Read more: Dem senators break with leadership, call for immediate small business funding (Washington Free Beacon )
Withholding WHO $$$
This week, the Trump administration halted funding for the World Health Organization pending an investigation into how the UN agency has handled the coronavirus outbreak.
The why: The decision came after months of WHO leaders kowtowing to China, pushing Chinese propaganda, and downplaying the coronavirus pandemic. As late as Jan. 14, the WHO argued that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus” and waited until Jan. 30 to declare a “public-health emergency.”
The how: The money is on hold for now, pending a 60 to 90-day White House review. While the administration can ultimately redirect some WHO funding, it can’t cut money without congressional action. Congress will be key to ensuring accountability for the WHO. And this week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and conservative Senate colleagues called for the United States, along with Japan and South Korea, to open an investigation into the WHO and the origins of COVID-19 – a good first step.
The how (much): The United States contributes by far the most money to the WHO. From 2018 to 2019, we contributed $893 million in membership dues and voluntary donations combined – more than 10 times China’s $86 million. In 2020, U.S. dues will come to $116 million, not including voluntary contributions, which account for hundreds of millions of dollars more.
Our take: Amb. Haley has long highlighted the dangerous corruption and bias plaguing UN agencies (Exhibit A: the Human Rights Council). In the case of the WHO, the United States is sending an important message that there is a price to be paid for siding with China’s Communist government. The same should be true for other UN agencies that cover up China’s human rights violations and fall prey to its propaganda machine. The United States should not continue to pour taxpayer dollars into any organization that actively boosts Chinese power.
→ Watch more: Amb. Haley on WHO funding (Twitter)
→ Read more: Trump is right about the WHO (National Review)
→ Read more: How it all started: China’s early coronavirus missteps (Wall Street Journal )
what we’re standing against
Dependence on China
The mask shortage plaguing our healthcare workers is partly a result of a dangerous dependence on China, which makes half the world’s supply. Now, a new roadblock underscores the need for America to reconsider how and where it manufactures key medical equipment and supplies.
Due to new Chinese export restrictions, large amounts of protective gear and medical products produced by American companies are sitting in Chinese warehouses unable to travel. Chinese officials claim the new restrictions are meant as a quality control measure, and to make sure China isn’t shipping goods it needs for its own people.
Our take: The United States needs to rethink its critical manufacturing needs – and quickly. The coronavirus pandemic is a wakeup call. America should never put itself in a position where it is at China’s mercy for lifesaving or national security supplies. We need more made in America.
→ Read more: China’s export restrictions strand medical goods U.S. needs to fight coronavirus, State Department says (Wall Street Journal )
what we’re smiling about
This week, Amb. Haley was nominated to join the #CombatCOVID19Challenge. The challenge calls on us to do a good deed for our community within 48 hours of being challenged. She teamed up with two food banks and started the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Campaign calling on all good neighbors to do their part to help a family in need today. To learn more or to participate click here.
“In times of unprecedented crisis, we are seeing thousands of people who have lost their jobs and their businesses. Whether it is supporting children, veterans, or the neighbor around the corner, this is when America shines. We don’t have to know a person in need to want to help them. Please take a moment, count your blessings, and consider joining in. Whether it is $10, $25, $100 or whatever you can give, you will be showing your neighbors that they are not alone.” – Amb. Haley