Congressman Adrian Smith and Senator Deb Fischer released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) released a document making hospitals receiving less than 50 percent of their funding from state and local governments eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“The inclusion of small hospitals in PPP is great news for rural America. Nebraskans across the state rely on rural hospitals and it is critical these hospitals have access to PPP as they pause non-essential operations to comply with social distancing guidelines. We thank President Trump and his administration for this fix, and will continue to work to lessen the impact COVID-19 has had in our rural communities,” said Rep. Smith.

“For the past week, I worked hard to ensure publicly owned hospitals will be included in the PPP program. In many of our rural areas, these hospitals are vital community assets and the largest employers. I spoke directly to President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin about this and I thank the administration for taking this important step which will extend relief to more of our Nebraska hospitals,” said Senator Fischer.

Smith had previously led more than 80 House members in writing a letter to Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza for this inclusion. 

Senator Fischer strongly advocated for publicly owned hospitals to become eligible for PPP. She spoke on the phone with President Trump, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the challenges publicly owned hospitals in Nebraska were facing and why they should be eligible for this program.