Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida’s District 7 provides an update on the recent happenings in Washington, D.C. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Orlando Economic Partnership’s top priority is to keep the business community informed and prepared and help individuals and organizations obtain the needed resources currently available as we all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Responding to COVID-19 Webinar Series: Federal Stimulus Update with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy is the seventh installment of a series of webinars focused on sharing guidance on how best to respond to the realities of COVID-19.

In this webinar, Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani hosts Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida’s District 7 who provided an update on the recent happenings in Washington, D.C. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congresswoman Murphy gave an update on the three phases of the stimulus package, including the recently passed $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the ample support it provides small businesses. She also highlighted the provisions she championed in the package and what is on the horizon for future phases.

Key Takeaways

Updates from Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy

Congress has put aside political differences and acted on a bipartisan basis in order to pass three major economic bills in response to COVID-19 (For a breakdown of economic assistance, please view the CARES Federal Stimulus Act Review webinar here). Congress understands this pandemic is a pivotal moment in history, and that it is essential to act swiftly and effectively. These bills are not perfect but will continue to be adjusted and molded to aid as many people as possible.

It is important to recognize the scale of the virus. The initial priority comes in taking public health care measures to lower the spread and equip our healthcare industries with the proper equipment to deal with the crisis. As a nation, the faster everyone’s safety is ensured, the faster the economy can open again. Congress is doing everything it possibly can to help the citizens, major businesses, small businesses and the work force feeling the effects of the crisis.

Public Health Measures

In order to ensure more individuals have adequate health coverage, congress increased federal funding for Medicaid. Providing those who are sick with access to some sort of healthcare means receiving better treatment and reducing the amount of infected who would otherwise be in the community continuing to spread the disease. This is a major factor is Congress’s decision in enabling a two-week paid leave for individuals sick in quarantine or helping family that are sick. An additional 10-week paid medical leave for workers is available for those who must stay home to watch children whose school or daycare have been closed. Employers are required to supply these benefits and will be refunded 100 percent by the federal government.

Household Financial Assistance

Nearly everyone with a social security number will receive a check for $1,200 with an additional $500 per child. Congress has additionally made a massive investment in state unemployment insurance programs to help assist individuals laid off as a result of COVID-19 in receiving the needed support. For renters, a four-month moratorium is in place for those who cannot afford rent and the same goes for any foreclosures on homeowners who cannot afford mortgage payments.

Other Areas of Financial Assistance

A substantial amount of money is going towards education to help support schools with the shift towards online learning. There is an increased support for veteran’s healthcare, money for farmers, money to public transit, and money for city housing services.

In order to encourage organizations to keep employees onboard, an employee retention tax credit exists to provide direct financial support for organizations to hang onto employees. Keeping workers within organizations is pivotal not only for employees to retain their organizational benefits, but also moving quickly to recover the economy.

Back to Normalcy

There is no sure sign to tell when the nation will be ready to move back towards its normal, but the decision will ultimately end up being made by public health officials. With the well-being of American citizens at the forefront of these decisions, relying on the knowledge and expertise of both scientists and healthcare professionals will bring the nation back in strong, safe manner.

About the Guest Speaker

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy
Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy proudly represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. She currently serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, where she is a member of the Subcommittee on Trade and the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support. 

Previously, Congresswoman Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor after serving as a national security specialist in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. She worked on a wide range of security issues from counterterrorism to foreign military relations to strategic planning for the department. Prior to her public service, Stephanie was a strategy consultant at Deloitte Consulting. 

Congresswoman Murphy holds a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary. She lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband and two young children.