Weekly Update | May 23, 2020
Remember and Honor Our Fallen
As we enjoy this long weekend with family and friends, let's remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Although we're unable to gather in the same ways we have in the past to honor Americans who died in service to this country, I believe it's important people can continue to recognize every single hero.

I was disappointed to learn from several constituents that the VA National Cemetery Administration is preventing groups from placing flags at the gravesite of our veterans. Their one-size-fits all approach is wrong and they should be allowing these decisions to be made locally. I believe groups can follow CDC guidelines and socially distance safely while placing flags in our cemeteries. This is an important tradition that honors those who have served and we should allow it to continue.

After reaching out to the VA National Cemetery Administration and having their position reiterated to me, I decided to write the Secretary of the VA directly.

CLICK HERE or see below the letter I sent.
I joined WAND-TV's Doug Wolfe to discuss why I'm encouraging the VA to change it's policy. CLICK HERE or above to watch.
Illinois Holding Onto Federal Funds Meant for Local Government
Recently, a report by the National League of Cities found that Illinois continues to withhold funding from local municipalities. This is federal funding we provided in the CARES Act to help state and local governments and it was given to states nearly a month ago. While the report found that other states have already provided this money to their local governments, communities in my district continue to wait.

I led my Republican colleagues in the Illinois congressional delegation in sending a letter to Governor Pritzker requesting more information and transparency with where these funds are going:

"We continue to hear from many of our local governments who are struggling because of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders that remain in place. This funding was passed on a bipartisan basis and released to states nearly a month ago to help local governments continue basic functions and we remain concerned that this funding has seemingly not been distributed. While Chicago and other larger municipalities have already received this funding from the federal government, our smaller localities continue to wait. We hope Governor Pritzker will provide more transparency about the timeline and process for distribution," said Republican members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation.

Click here or read the letter below.
Federal Resources Update
Economic Impact Payment Update: The IRS has brought back 3,500 telephone operators to answer EIP questions. The number to call is 1-800-919-9835. You can also get answers to many questions online at IRS.gov . To date the Treasury Department has already delivered more than 140 million Economic Impact Payments worth $239 billion to Americans by direct deposit to accounts at financial institutions, Direct Express card accounts, and by check. They have roughly 10 million more payments to make. You can check your payment status online by clicking here .

Paycheck Protection Program Update: The U.S. Small Business Administration has released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application. Per the CARES Act, PPP loans are 100% forgivable if businesses meet certain criteria. Small business owners should click here to access it.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Update: The CFAP is for farmers and ranchers whose operations have been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It will provide direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to Coronavirus. The USDA Farm Service Agency will begin taking applications on May 26th. Click here for more information.

C onstituent Service Spotlight
Helping Constituents Cut Through Red Tape in Collinsville
“I am very impressed with how responsive your staff is and how helpful. He called right away after your office received my email. He was very calm and most helpful. He explained things clearly without pointing fingers. We deeply appreciate the correspondence regarding the virus.”

-Karen in Collinsville, IL
More Important Updates
Coronavirus Live Q&A Episodes w/ the U.S. Census Bureau and American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Recently, I launched a new Coronavirus Live Q&A series on Facebook where I host a special guest to discuss issues impacting either you or others in your community. On Wednesday afternoon I was joined by U.S. Census Bureau Regional Director Marilyn A. Sanders. We discussed the importance of the census and how it has been impacted by the coronavirus . On Friday morning I was joined by American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) CEO Randy Moore.

The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that 64% of IL-13 households have now completed their 2020 Census. Have you? Click here to complete your census .
Federal PPE Deliveries to Illinois
Congress and President Trump have delivered for the State of Illinois when it comes to PPE to combat the coronavirus pandemic. I've continually advocated for hospitals, first responders, and others in my district to ensure they have the PPE they need. See the numbers for yourself.
More Federal Coronavirus Funding Flowing into Illinois
This week I announced several more grants coming into our communities for reemployment services for dislocated workers, keeping public housing safe, and to support our first responders.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
It's that time of year - graduation season! No high school or college graduation ceremonies will look like they usually do, but that doesn't stop us from celebrating their achievements. CONGRATULATIONS to the graduates out there on all of their accomplishments and best wishes as they move onto the next chapter in life!