Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared live on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” with Ed Henry to provide an update on key coronavirus relief legislation. Key highlights are below.

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On removing liberal wish list items from the final bill: The reality is we stripped most of [Speaker Pelosi’s] little pet projects out of this bill in the Senate. I think a couple remained in there but have nothing to do with coronavirus or stopping the threat of coronavirus. For her to claim victory in the Senate is not accurate. I think the Senate did take most of the stuff that was unrelated out. You saw the Senate passed it. It is coming to the House on Friday. We will have a debate on it and we fully expect to have this passed by a voice vote and go to the President’s desk on Friday where he will sign it into law.

On relief for families and small business: The working man needs help right now. That’s what the direct check assistance is designed to do. But we think within a matter of weeks people will have the $1200 and for children $500. But Ed, the most important provision in my judgment is the small business loans that involves both loans and tax provisions. They can help small businesses stay afloat with cash flow and liquidity so they don’t lay off  workers. We’re trying to get through the next two months of a crisis where we can keep them afloat so they don’t go under so that when we do rebound out of this crisis, these companies will still be in existence and the jobs will still be there. 

On help for those on the frontline: We gave 100 billion dollars in the bill to provide for that. Lack of personal protective equipment has been a big issue along with the test kits.  The front line people need it first. You know what happened in Italy is very insightful. This coronavirus impacted the healthcare providers, the doctors and nurses on the front lines, and their infrastructure collapsed because they weren’t able to provide hospital beds. When your front line workers cannot protect themselves and they come down with it, then we have a real problem. That’s one of the biggest priorities and it is in this bill that we will pass on Friday. 

On the importance of social distancing: I know it’s hard but social distancing I think is working. We have to flatten the curve more in the short term. The more we [social distance] the more it will flatten. Lastly the therapeutics coming out are very promising, including the antivirals, and some of the FDA clinical trials and the vaccine itself. I think it provides a lot of hope if they have a Tamiflu to calm people down. You’ll see a major announcement that anti-virals tested on humans will make a difference moving forward in the pandemic.