As the U.S. House of Representatives rushed to pass another bill allocating $484 billion to address issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic, both of Frederick County's congressmen said oversight of that funding is key, and re-opening the state should be driven by science.

The bill, which heads to President Donald Trump's desk, allocates funding to multiple areas, including $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion for small business disaster relief loans, $75 billion for medical facilities and hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.

Congressman David Trone (D-Md.) said there were issues with the initial rollout of the overall CARES Act, which led to businesses like Shake Shack and institutions like Harvard University receiving millions of dollars in aid. 

Legislation that passed Thursday added stronger oversight provisions that ensure the money goes to small businesses and not large companies, he said.

"What happened with the Paycheck Protection Program is the banks simply went to their existing customers, and their existing customers were the larger companies so the real entrepreneurs in America and Maryland got left out," Trone said of the initial disbursement of funds through the PPP, which allocates money to businesses as long as they keep employees on payroll and also pay for utility costs.

Trone and Congressman Jamie Raskin both said Congress acted quickly to get the initial CARES act out, but added oversight becomes more difficult when looking at the sheer amount of funding in the bill, at more than $2 trillion.

Raskin said the legislation that passed Thursday allows more banks and institutions to have access to federal funds.

"We’ve been very disenchanted by the idea of ... relatively big businesses cornering the market with this money," Raskin said. "[So] we are diversifying the channels for distribution of this money to include a lot of rural banks and credit unions and minority-owned banks in order to make sure we don’t get this cornering of the market."

Concerning raw materials—personal protective equipment, test kits and other items the medical profession needs—Trone and Raskin both said Congress and the federal government should look outside the United States for aid.

Both said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has done a fine job leading his state, including his work with his wife Yumi to acquire 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea.

Raskin said it's a "sad state" that individual states have to compete with each other on the market to acquire tests and other supplies.

"That basically takes us back to the Articles of Confederation before we had a Constitution when the states were competitors and didn’t know how to organize together ... Right now, we’re not getting that kind of leadership at the national level, and thank God for Gov. Hogan and the other governors who have been really out in front," Raskin said.

Outside of Thursday's funding package, Raskin and Trone said there's more work to be done, especially as a second edition of the CARES Act is drafted in the coming weeks.

Trone identified three areas he believes must be funded in that bill: mental health resources, broadband/high-speed internet for rural areas and direct funding to the states/local governments.

Gov. Hogan, as chair of the National Governors' Association, has asked—with other governors—for $500 billion from the federal government to help states recoup lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trone conceded it's likely the funding for states won't be that high, but added it's important they get a large sum of money.

"In our state, they also share a part of the income tax and also they have hotel taxes and tourism taxes. And all those income sources are just drying up, plus their expenses are way up," Trone said of state and local governments. "I think it should have been in today’s package, but we couldn’t get bipartisan agreement. And bipartisan agreement is absolutely crucial, that we all move forward as one country."

No matter how funds in future bills are disbursed, both he and Raskin said states re-opening their businesses and overall economies should be driven by scientific reasoning.

Raskin said that includes increased testing, contract tracing, quarantine/isolation practices for those diagnosed with the virus and "strict public health protocols" in everywhere from schools, businesses, stadiums and other public spaces.

"This is not the kind of thing where we should blow a whistle for ... May 1, and say, everybody can go back to work," Raskin said. "That is a recipe for disaster, that will plunge us back into recurring cycles of pandemic outbreak and economic shutdown."

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(51) comments

MRS M

Our venerable FNP reported back in January that for the first time in 20 years, registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans....by the grand total of 6! The times they are a'changing', boys, and there ain't no one here missing the likes of folk like 'ol Roscoe representing Frederick Countians down yonder in the halls of Congress. Or, for that matter, wanting to admit they voted for, and still support, the incompetant and morally bankrupt quack in the White House....further reason for the greatest increase in registrations being in the "Independent" affiliation. That's not to say we don't have a few loyal "hanger-on-ers here, posting such loyal nuggets in the commentators "hall of fame", such as :

" He NEVER said it was a HOAX!" and today's: "I don't believe PRESIDENT Trump really wanted to suggest people should inject Lysol...it was just a "poor choice" of words"! (How about this instead: he needs a new distraction/ lie/ pipe dream to provide to the gullible now that he's done with his dangerous and irresponsible hydroxychloroquine recommendation???) Sorry, fellas, but the idea that this-here provides a "a forum for the exchange of ideas" has most laughing out loud. Apologists and deniers, why not just admit that the POTUS is an abject failure in terms of leadership, understanding, and ability to unify the country...and is probably mentally ill as well. Then SOME might take you seriously in your quest for "the exchange of ideas".

hayduke2

Mrs M - well said.

Greg F

He said it loud and clear and if you can’t hear it there is something very wrong with your train of thought. He said it and repeated it. He did try to say it was sarcasm in the Q&A session but it was not in that where he mad that atrocious suggestion. 100+ Marylanders did just that and ended up in the hospital. Extrapolate that across the US and that is a few thousand. How many will die or suffer because of his blatant stupidity? You are not an American...just a stooge.

Greg F

Mrs. M...how’s that Kool-Aid taste?

LAR1

Can someone explain where all this money is coming from? It does not grow on trees.

DickD

From the U.S. printing office.

bosco

China holds a big chunck of US debt, and I'll bet they will buy up some more. Makes sense, doesn't it? [crying]

awteam2000

If China and Japan stop, we are in big trouble.

public-redux

If China stops, they are also in big trouble.

DickD

Trump owes The Bank of China $211 million on a skyscraper that he only owns 30% of

One of the reasons he will not release his income taxes.

dabittle

Raskin has been harassing me via several phone calls (about 15) over the course of the last two weeks asking for my support (read: Money). This, despite being on the do-not-call list and despite my repeated emails to his office begging him to STOP! I cannot wait to cast my vote for his opponent.

DickD

We get a lot of junk from Republicans too. And I will not vote for any of them!

bosco

Politicians exempted themselves from the Do Not Call List.

I don't pick up on any number I don't recognize.

phydeaux994

Are you a Democrat? Politicians usually only call friendlies.

dabittle

No, I'm a registered Independent! And I would argue that if you define yourself as either a proud democrat or republican, you're likely NOT a critical thinker. Might I suggest that you step back from your party affiliation/platform and cast your respective votes based on relevant issues rather then whether you have a sticker elephant or donkey on your bumper.

Greg F

Independent. Ancient word for no clear thoughts.

phydeaux994

I have been a Registered pre-1994 Moderate Republican (MoCo/HoCo) for all of my voting life, 59 years. I never voted a Partisan Ballot, and I am still a Registered pre-1994 Moderate Republican except in Frederick County where I am a “Democrap Lib” Socialist. But what’s the reason for not Registering R or D so you can vote in the Primary Elections for/against somebody? I refuse to give up that opportunity to voice my opinion. Peace.

DickD

Limit yourself to one vote while the rest of us decide who you can vote for in the general election if you want.

Greg F

Scam artists are usually capitalists and extremist republicans like that snake oil Lysol salesman Trump.

Greg F

You ever hear of the block feature?

bkeepr

Congress's first "relief bill" was a classic example of "ready, fire, aim." They rushed through a poorly-constructed bill simply so they can say they were doing *something* in their campaign commercials, and the end result is billions of taxpayer dollars wasted. Absolutely Congress's fault. Now they say they'll fix that problem with another bill and billions more in spending. When will it end? Never, as long as the likes of the HON Mr Raskin are in office.

Joeseamhead

Uh... Mnuchin orchestrated that first bill, not Congress.

gabrielshorn2013

Mnuchin does not vote on spending bills. It is the authority of Congress granted by article 1 of the Constitution. If Congress read it, understood it, agreed with it, and approved it, then it is Congress' bill.

awteam2000

What does Mnuchin do as Secretary of the Treasury? And why was the ‘inspector general’ who would have provided oversight of the treasury dept.’s distribution of the stimulus removed?

gabrielshorn2013

so what aw? Congress passes bills. Mnuchin does not. If there is something "wrong" with the legislation, it is Congress' responsibility. Are you saying that Congress doesn't read or understand what they are passing?

hayduke2

Believe it was said to have been “orchestrated “ - that is accurate

Greg F

He’s a minion of the Russian President.

Greg F

Senate and orange man passed it too. Can’t blame just congress.

Blueline

I didn't know Jamie Raskin was still alive.

jsklinelga

I am sorry but seeing a picture of these two men is disheartening. They are the epitome (a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type) of our Congress in 2020. A Congress with a favorability rating around 20%

They represent the two ways to achieve a coveted congressional seat. Raskin from an entrenched Democrat political family used political favoritism. And Trone, a successful business man who could not buy one seat in the 8th so turned and bought a seat in the 6th. Neither man has any ties to Frederick County or Western Maryland and I doubt they could name few businesses in their districts who received any money nor the businesses that needed money..

Raskin's allusion to the Articles of Confederation is somewhat laughable. When the representatives met to establish the Constitution they were men that truly represented their districts. Up until recently, like many Western Marylander's I knew our representatives. They had direct ties to the communities.

olefool

I would say that your favorability ratings here are about minus 50%... Spouting radical right wing lies and delusions and your support for the man who advocates shooting up one's body with Lysol and ultraviolet light won't win you any points jsk...Just saying..

gabrielshorn2013

So exactly where in his response did jsk spout right wing lies olefool. What he wrote about both men is factual. Can you refute what he wrote? If anything, your statements above are false. I know of no one saying that we should shoot up with Lysol.

gabrielshorn2013

I stand corrected. Apparently DJT did say that. The remainder of my comment stands.

MRS M

A real "stand-up" and courageous guy.......still defending the indefensible. A true "libertarian" thought-leader.

gabrielshorn2013

Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. So you have to personally attack someone rather than the argument Madam M? What is it that JSK wrote that you can refute?

jsklinelga

Gabe

I appreciate your support for the statement. It is nothing personal against the individuals it is more a commentary on the disconnect between the average American and their elected officials.

And I really do not think that President Trump advocated shooting up Lysol. It was not his best choice of words. Certainly he is frustrated. He was frustrated about Hogan's move as he cited all the Federal Laboratories in the State. Considering the budget for R&D research in the United States is almost 1/2 of South Korea's total budget. And considering NIH, with an annual budget of 39 B, John Hopkins and Fort Detrick are within the State of Maryland, plus the other high tech companies, it seems reasonable he would question why you would need to go to South Korea. But that was the case and Governor Hogan acted in the best interest of the State.

veritas

Gabe... olefool's handle says it all.[wink][beam]

hayduke2

Veritot - Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.

veritas

Hey, hay... apologies for offending your sensitivities. And yet for the life of me, I just don't see how merely highlighting the ironoy of olefool's choice of nom de plume rises to the level of a "personal attack" or "ad hominem criticism."

xJacky1

[thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

Whacky, Jacky supports you JIm. lol

DickD

So much for what you know, Jim. I have attended meetings with Raskin, here in Frederick County. Go to church, inject yourself with clorox, as the "chosen one" advises you.

gabrielshorn2013

Oh come on dick, stop already.

phydeaux994

DickD 👍👍👍👍👍👍

phydeaux994

ANYONE who supports and defends Donald J Trump at this point is either delusional or __________?? Take your pick. Like Cuomo said this morning, it’s how you deal with the HARD STUFF that brings out the true character of a person, whether they run TOWARD the gunshots or run AWAY from the gunshots. AND WE FOUND OUT!!!

jsklinelga

phydeaux

Isn't Cuomo the one that scolded the people complaining about not working telling them to go find work as essential workers. Not his best statement. I believe Dana Perino summed it up best. She said he has, for the most part, been very level headed but obviously is showing signs of frustration. That is understandable. Unfortunately people's hatred of DJT and their associated TDS blinds them to how remarkable the effort, by many that is being made to confront this menace,

phydeaux994

Dana Perino, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, Trump State TV Fox Propaganda Channel, jsk “hatred of DJT”, TDS, and you talk about “BLIND” 🦧🙈🙉🙊🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

awteam2000

Unfortunately, the population of Western Maryland is in decline. The youth are leaving for better opportunities and the areas that are growing are more progressive.

Ruskin and Trone are both up for re-election in November. I’m betting they will both be there next year. Guess who won’t?

jsklinelga

awteam2000

Biden. The only possible chance of beating DJT is somebody besides Biden. Do you really think this country would elect Joe Biden?

hayduke2

Do you really think someone would elect a reality show con man president?? So yeah, I think the country could elect Biden.

DickD

Thank you for showing how the cult has no morals and will vote for someone as corrupt as Trump.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

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