By Eric Rosario
More good news from the Office of Congressman Michael San Nicolas, and some bad news that, yet again, the Leon Guerrero administration is concealing from the people of Guam.
THE GOOD NEWS: Congress has just passed a second round of funding to help state, territorial, and local governments fund their Coronavirus responses, and small businesses to stay open and pay their employees. A bill which the Senate sent to the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week was passed by the House today.
"This second round of funding will bring more healthcare dollars into Guam, and will dedicate $30 Billion in Small Business Loans to smaller jurisdictions which helps Guam have better access to the Paycheck Protection Program," stated Congressman San Nicolas.
The bill includes: -$75 billion to reimburse hospitals and health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19. -$25 billion to increase testing for COVID-19, including: o $11 billion for States, localities, territories, and Tribes o $1 billion for CDC for surveillance, epidemiology, contact tracing, and other activities to support testing o $1.8 billion for NIH to accelerate development of point-of-care and rapid diagnostic technologies o $1 billion for BARDA to accelerate development of point-of-care and rapid diagnostic technologies o $22 million for FDA for its role in accelerating development and approval of point-of-care and rapid diagnostics o $600 million for Community Health Centers to support COVID-19 testing o $225 million for Rural Health Clinics to support COVID-19 testing o Up to $1 billion to cover the cost of testing the uninsured SBA programs o $2.1 billion to administer SBA programs funded in the bill o $50 billion in loan subsidies to fund approximately $350 billion in SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans o $10 billion for EIDL grants, which can be used for an advance of up to $10,000 on a disaster loan and do not need to be repaid
THE BAD NEWS: While, once again, Mr. San Nicolas has made sure Guam was included in these programs, including the economic injury disaster loans and grants, the Leon Guerrero administration screwed up the first round of EIDL.
According to announcements by the U.S. Small Business Administration, as of April 19, Guam and American Samoa were the only American jurisdictions to receive $0 in approved funding for the EIDL, which would include the first $10,000 in advanced grants. In total on Guam, 96 companies's applications were processed for nearly half a million dollars in loans.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, in remarks to the media yesterday and in a snarky rebuke of viral criticism of her ineffective responses to the public health and economic emergencies, told the public not to worry because federal payments, including EIDL were being made.
The reason funding for Guam has not yet been approved is the failure of her administration to remit tax information to the federal government to validate application claims.