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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

An Enormous Loss

May 29, 2020
Catching up with Annie

Dear Friend, 

Our hearts are heavy as the COVID-19 death toll in the United States surpassed 100,000 this week. Each life lost is tragic and we mourn with the families and loved ones of those who have died from complications due to COVID-19. As we grieve this enormous loss, we must continue to do everything we can to save lives. In addition to physical distancing and frequent handwashing, wearing a mask is a simple, effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As we reopen our economy, masks and face coverings can save lives and help prevent a spike in cases and protect our communities so that we can reopen safely and keep our economy open.

wear a mask to protect myself, my family and everyone around me and I hope you will, too!  

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Bipartisan Legislation to Support Granite State Small Businesses During this Health Emergency

Yesterday, I voted in favor of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. I’ve heard from many small businesses in New Hampshire – particularly restaurants and hospitality establishments – that are unable to access forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans because of the program’s current restrictions. This legislation addresses the urgent needs of Granite State small businesses by making PPP more flexible and available for vulnerable businesses that face economic challenges due to the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

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Speaking about the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. Watch here.

Supporting the National Guard

I’m pleased that President Trump heeded the call of Democrats and Republicans to extend the deployment of our National Guard as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Across New Hampshire, our brave citizen soldiers and airmen play a critical role in addressing the health and economic crisis caused by this virus by supporting COVID-19 testing efforts, processing unemployment claims, and partnering with food banks to feed families in need.

After the President’s outrageous decision to end National Guard deployments for COVID-19 one day short of the 90-day benchmark for those who are serving to qualify for benefits, I introduced legislation, the National Guard COVID-19 Response Stability Act, to ensure Guard members receive benefits for their service and allow governors to extend National Guard deployments through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.


Fortunately, the President heeded our call. I am glad to see that he has reversed course. The extension he announced will provide certainty and support for communities across the nation through the summer.

Continuing Efforts to Prevent Substance Misuse Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and I led members of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force in urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to implement an at-home drug disposal initiative in place of the National Drug Takeback Day, which was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Takeback programs provide an opportunity for people to dispose of unused medications that are no longer needed in order to prevent substance misuse. 

Protecting Children’s Privacy

TikTok is one of the most popular applications in the world, and it’s widely used by children and teenagers in the United States. This week, I lead a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the agency to investigate TikTok’s apparent violations of a federal law that protects children’s privacy. 

At a time when kids are spending more time online as most schools have transitioned to remote learning, parents should not have to worry that a foreign-owned company is inappropriately collecting their children’s data. TikTok’s actions not only put the privacy of young Americans in jeopardy but also cause a potentially dangerous situation by limiting parents’ ability to monitor what their children are doing online. 

Ensuring NH Hospitals Have the Resources They Need 

This week, I joined the New Hampshire delegation in sending a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, urging the Trump Administration to award more CARES Act grant funding for hospitals. Federal funds are critical to ensuring that our rural health care providers can continue caring for patients. Health care providers in non-rural areas of the state are also in need of additional resources, and with hospital revenues expected to continue to lag over the next several months, action now is critical. 

News You Can Use

New Hampshire has authorized $400M in CARES Act funding for the Main Street Relief Fund. Small businesses that wish to access these funds must fill out the pre-qualification application by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. To submit an application, click here.

Last week, I joined Mask Up NH to help distribute cloth reusable face masks free-of-charge to folks in Concord. Need a mask? Visit MaskUpNH.com for information about upcoming events.

Today, I had a wonderful Facebook Live conversation with a few of the young women who started “Give Essential” -- a platform to connect essential workers with volunteers with extra essential items during the pandemic. You can learn more about their great work here

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My conversation with "Give Essential" founders. Watch here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) are the best resources to turn to during this public health emergency.

Remember: Keep calm and wash your hands, and wear a mask when you are out in public. If you are sick, stay home and call your health care provider. If you live in NH and have questions about coronavirus, dial 2-1-1. Visit CDC.gov for more information. 

Sincerely,