Our Office's COVID-19 Response



A Message From Chrissy


 Like many of you, our daily work spaces have changed. I want to reassure our community, however, that we are still fully operational. Over the past two months, we have been busy legislating and advocating on behalf of our community. Below you'll see a list of all the legislation and efforts we've been working on. As always, please reach out to our office to share your concerns.

- Representative Chrissy Houlahan
.  .  .

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Rep. Houlahan has taken decisive action on three main fronts:  

  1. Ensuring our community has the resources it needs to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of the virus, handle positive cases, and ensure our health care system does not get overwhelmed 
  2. Supporting our small business owners and employees   
  3. Sharing timely, factual information with constituents to ensure they can protect themselves and their loved ones

Constituent Services

Throughout this pandemic, we have adapted to field the many calls and messages from members of our community. Here are some of our efforts by the numbers:

  • 5,578 Calls returned
  • 26,210 Emails answered
  • 4 Rapid response teams created

Town Halls Held

Since taking office, our office has utilized Town Halls to relay accurate information to our community, and that has been especially true throughout this pandemic. So far, we've held 11 Coronavirus Virtual Town Halls--2 of them specifically focused on small businesses. You can find the full audio and/or video recordings on our Youtube page. Click on the image below for our latest Town Hall, which centered around mental health. As always, you can find information about upcoming town halls on our calendar here

Legislation Passed

This pandemic has called upon all of us to be our best selves. As our representative, Chrissy has focused on the policies, not the politics, of healing our community. Below are details about the 4 bipartisan bills signed into law to address coronavirus:

  • (3/4/2020) - Chrissy voted for H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. This bill provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to address the coronavirus outbreak. This includes funding for health-related issues, assistance for small business, and international aid to help prevent the spread of the virus. 
  • (3/14/2020) - Chrissy voted for H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included numerous measures to address the spread of the coronavirus, including providing paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing nation-wide, expanded food assistance, and requiring enhanced protections for healthcare workers. 
  • (3/27/2020) - Chrissy voted for H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included a broad range of measures intended to stimulate the economy and to address the health threat posed by the coronavirus. 
  • (4/24/2020) - Chrissy voted for H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provided more money for the Paycheck Protection Program, for healthcare providers, and for coronavirus testing. 

Legislation Introduced

In order to meet this moment, Chrissy has introduced bills to help our small businesses and create a national testing infrastructure that will enable our community to reopen with confidence. 

  • (3/19/2020) - Chrissy introduced H.R. 6307, the Easing Disruption for America’s Small Contractors Act, which would give small businesses that do work for the Federal government more time to fulfill contract obligations and speed up how quickly they are paid, helping with cash flow issues. 
  • (5/12/2020) - Chrissy introduced H.R. 6822, the National Public Health Corps Act of 2020, which will create a national public health service program to respond to public health emergencies, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Watch my interview about this bipartisan legislation by clicking on the photo below.

Legislation Cosponsored

  • (3/19/2020) - Chrissy supported H.R. 6312, the COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses Act of 2020, which was designed to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic by providing zero-interest loans, debt relief, and grants. 
  • (3/24/2020) - Chrissy cosponsored H.R. 6317, the Ensuring Coverage in Public Health Emergencies Act of 2020, which would require Affordable Care Act marketplaces to be opened for people to enroll in health insurance whenever a Public Health Emergency is declared. It would also require that treatments related to any such emergencies be covered and treated similarly to related conditions. 
  • (3/24/2020) - Chrissy cosponsored H.R. 6390, the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, which would require the president to use the Defense Production Act to order the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other supplies needed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • (4/2/2020) - Chrissy cosponsored H.R. 6420, the All Dependent Children Count Act, which would make all dependents under the age of 19, dependent students under 24, and all disabled dependents qualify for the CARES Act rebate. This bill would also qualify young adults, who file their own taxes but are in school, for the full $1200 rebate. 
  • (4/29/2020) - Chrissy cosponsored H.R. 6445, the Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act, which makes changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and The Emergency Feeding Assistance Program (TEFAP) so that those most at risk have access to food during the pandemic. 
  • (5/4/2020) - Chrissy became an original cosponsor of the Opportunities for Heroes Act, which would provide student debt relief or educational credit to essential workers who worked during the pandemic. 
  • (5/5/2020) - Chrissy became an original cosponsor of a bill that would increase, through 2021, the share of money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that the federal government provides. 
  • (5/8/2020) - Chrissy cosponsored H.R. 6334, the Securing America From Pandemics (SAFE) Act, which authorizes United States to participate in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI is an international organization which works to develop vaccines for dangerous diseases. 

Letters Led

As part of her efforts, Chrissy has helped lead a number of initiatives to improve the Federal response to COVID-19. Some of these efforts, as listed below, have taken the form of letters and request to high-ranking officials in the Administration, House and Senate Leadership, and more.

  • (3/22/2020) - Chrissy sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the stimulus bill allow for direct reimbursement of money spent by local governments to buy ventilators and other equipment needed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • (3/24/2020) - Chrissy led a letter to House leadership asking them to support legislation that would help national service programs, such as AmeriCorps, and their members serve their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • (4/20/2020) - Chrissy led a letter with several other Members of the House of Representatives to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that future stimulus bills include a number of provisions designed to allow for the economy to be reopened safely and efficiently. 

Letters Signed

  • (3/4/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to President Trump asking that the administration react to the spread of the coronavirus in a more aggressive and organized way. 
  • (3/12/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking for the SBA to give guidance on how states can apply for their small businesses to qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. This letter also asked the SBA to give small business owners clear instructions on how to apply for these loans. 
  • (3/12/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services asking that the department provide guidance to scientific laboratories on how to process coronavirus tests. 
  • (3/13/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Director of the Census Bureau asking how the bureau is planning to carry out the census during the coronavirus pandemic and how it will protect its workers while they perform this important work. 
  • (3/19/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the stimulus bill include direct reimbursement to local and state governments for personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased for coronavirus response activities. 
  • (3/19/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the stimulus bill include measures to address mental health issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as increased funding for the suicide prevention hotline. 
  • (3/20/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that rural and other qualified healthcare providers be allowed to provide remote healthcare (telehealth) services using Medicare and Medicaid funding. 
  • (3/20/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the stimulus bill include funding for public transportation services, such as SEPTA. 
  • (3/20/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the stimulus bill include a measure to allow people to withdrawal funds from their retirement accounts during the coronavirus pandemic without fees or penalties. 
  • (3/20/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that funding be provided for Community Health Centers (CHC) to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. There are three CHCs in Pennsylvania’s 6th district. 
  • (3/20/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking that the SBA lower interest rates on loans provided to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • (3/20/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that stimulus bills include provisions to help first responders. This includes making sure that they have enough personal protective equipment (PPE), that they have paid sick leave, that they can hire enough people, that they receive appropriate overtime pay, and they get other benefits they deserve. 
  • (3/21/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that any aerospace companies, many of which have operations or suppliers around our community, that receive aid through the stimulus package be required to protect their workers and be prohibited from giving executive bonuses or buying back stock until they have paid back their government loans. 
  • (3/23/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that a Ready Reserve Corps, made up of doctors and nurses, be created to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter also asks that liability protection for volunteer healthcare professionals doing work related to the pandemic be included in the stimulus bill. 
  • (3/25/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission asking that schools and libraries be allowed to help students who need internet access to continue studying during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • (3/25/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that water utilities be forbidden to shut off people’s water during the coronavirus pandemic, due to health concerns. 
  • (3/26/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture asking that Pennsylvania be allowed to distribute aid through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) without requiring signatures, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 
  • (3/30/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency requesting that the EPA withdrawal its recently announced policy of not enforcing environmental regulations during the coronavirus pandemic.  
  • (3/31/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the President asking that the Department of Defense organize the production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic and that military medical personnel be deployed to assist in the response. 
  • (3/31/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) asking that antibody tests be approved, manufactured, and deployed around the country as quickly as possible so that the economy can open up safely. 
  • (4/1/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Acting Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations asking what is being done to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the Navy’s fleet and that commanding officers of naval ships be given guidance on how to address the threat. 
  • (4/1/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury asking that people on Social Security and those that receive disability benefits not be required to file tax returns in order to receive the rebate owed to them through the CARES Act.  
  • (4/2/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The letter asks that the CDC publish instructions for how and when people should wear facemasks to prevent spreading coronavirus. It also asks that FEMA organize the production and distribution of facemasks to the American people. 
  • (4/2/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking them to allow start ups to apply for assistance provided by the CARES Act. 
  • (4/2/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking that farmers and other small agricultural businesses be allowed to apply for assistance provided by the CARES Act. 
  • (4/6/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration asking that guidance for hand sanitizer manufacturing be updated so that distilleries can produce sanitizer using ethanol (ethyl alcohol) that they already have in stock. Some distilleries in our area have already transitioned their operations to producing hand sanitizer. 
  • (4/7/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The letter asks that funding for hospitals provided by the CARES Act be distributed as quickly as possible. 
  • (4/7/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that the next stimulus bill include additional funding for the Federal Communication Commission's E-Rate program so that schools and libraries can lend students wireless internet hotspots for remote learning during the pandemic. 
  • (4/7/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Directors General of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The letter asks the WHO, OIE, and FAO to work towards a global ban on “wet” markets, such as the one that is suspected to be the source of the coronavirus pandemic. It also asks them to attempt to end all international trade in live wildlife, unless required for wildlife conservation. 
  • (4/7/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture asking that the Department use funding provided by the CARES Act to help specialty crop producers, which includes fruit and vegetable growers. The letter asks for the Department to take over some contracts, such as those of school lunch programs, and use the food for other assistance programs. It also asks for the Department to provide direct payments to specialty crop producers to help them during the pandemic. 
  • (4/8/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking that the department develop a nationwide plan for coronavirus testing, to ensure that social distancing and other measures can be relaxed as soon as it is safe to do so. The letter asks that this testing include both if people are currently ill with the virus (diagnostic testing) and if they have had the virus in the past (serologic testing). Finally, the letter asks that HHS work with the Peace Corps and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to deploy Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers to aid in the testing effort. 
  • (4/8/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) asking for flexibility for agricultural businesses. It also asks the SBA to clarify whether visa workers are included in a business’s headcount for loan eligibility purposes. 
  • (4/9/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury asking that states and local governments be allowed to use money provided to them by the CARES Act to help pay for programs that are threatened because the pandemic has caused a drop in revenue. The letter also asks that this money is given to states quickly and fairly. 
  • (4/9/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Congressional Leadership asking that the next stimulus package include additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It also asks for temporary increases to both the minimum and maximum assistance that can be provided to individuals through the program. 
  • (4/10/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior urging them give the American public more time to comment on actions that it has proposed, such as new regulations, because of the disruption caused by the pandemic. 
  • (4/10/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the next bill addressing the coronavirus pandemic include money for community health centers (CHCs), which are an important part of the country’s response and serve the un- and under-insured in our community. 
  • (4/10/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking them to provide guidance to financial institutions so that small businesses and non-profits have access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding. It also asks them to provide experts to help ensure that underserved and minority communities can access PPP funding. 
  • (4/13/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in support of dairy farmers. It asks the USDA to use money provided by the CARES Act to help the dairy industry and to look for other ways to provide assistance during the pandemic. 
  • (4/13/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Vice President asking what the United States is doing to cooperate with international partners and the World Health Organization to address the pandemic. 
  • (4/15/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The letter asks HHS and CMS to change their policy on CARES Act assistance to healthcare providers so that Pennsylvania receives the same level of aid as other states. 
  • (4/15/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve asking that small businesses and independent contractors be prioritized as CARES Act loans are distributed. It also asks for help for smaller banks and credit unions so that they can serve their communities during the pandemic. Finally, it asks that large businesses be required to treat their smaller business partners fairly in order to receive CARES Act assistance. 
  • (4/16/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the next stimulus bill makes it easier for junior enlisted members of the military to access food assistance for their families. 
  • (4/17/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to make sure future stimulus bills do not remove requirements included in the Families Frist Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that protect vulnerable groups who rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 
  • (4/17/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the next stimulus bill include a program to evaluate and treat the mental health of our nation’s healthcare workers who have been essential to the pandemic response. 
  • (4/17/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the President asking that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remove its requirement that states and local governments provide matching funds in order to receive federal assistance to respond to the pandemic. 
  • (4/17/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking for information about who has received assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program, and other debt relief programs. 
  • (4/21/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that the next coronavirus stimulus bill include funding to help scientific and medical researchers. 
  • (4/22/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that future stimulus bills include measures to help property service workers, such as building cleaners, security guards, and cafeteria workers, who must continue to work during the pandemic. 
  • (4/24/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Education asking that money provided by the CARES Act to help college students be distributed more quickly. It also asks for the rules around which students can get this assistance to be made more inclusive. 
  • (4/24/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Assistant Secretary for the Defense Health Agency asking him to allow members of the military and their families to use telehealth services through TRICARE during the pandemic. 
  • (4/27/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Commissioner of the IRS asking them to ensure that Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries (RRB) with dependents under the age of 17 receive CARES Act rebates owed to them, even if they did not have to file taxes in 2018 or 2019. 
  • (4/29/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), asking that the Department make it easier for schools and community groups to make sure that children have access to food during the pandemic. 
  • (4/30/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services asking him to make sure that all Americans have access to coronavirus services, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 
  • (5/1/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that future coronavirus response bills include measures to protect and expand Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment during the pandemic. 
  • (5/1/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking him to ensure that small farms are able to receive assistance from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program Congress created through the CARES Act. 
  • (5/6/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asking why the IRS is not using telework to keep up with its responsibilities during the pandemic and how the IRS plans to address the work backlog that is building up. 
  • (5/6/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking for the next stimulus bill to include increased funding for School-Based Health Centers in order to help students and families during the pandemic. 
  • (5/6/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking them to include funding for schools to teach science and engineering courses during and after the current crisis. A well educated technical workforce will help to ensure that the United States is prepared for the next pandemic. 
  • (5/7/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking them to include funding for international coronavirus treatment and vaccine development efforts in the next funding bill. By contributing to these international efforts, the United States will ensure that American citizens benefit from any breakthroughs made in other countries. 
  • (5/7/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Director-General of the World Health Organization asking that Taiwan be included in World Health Organization meetings during the pandemic. 
  • (5/8/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that the next stimulus package include funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and national park maintenance. This will provide jobs to help with the economic recovery while protecting our nation’s natural environment. 
  • (5/8/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that the next stimulus bill include money for state Departments of Transportation. This is to ensure that road and bridge projects which are important to public safety can continue.
  • (5/15/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The letter requests that members of the National Guard who are helping with pandemic response efforts be provided with strong healthcare benefits and that any time they must spend in quarantine not be taken out of their leave.
  • (5/18/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury asking him to give all domestic producers of alcoholic beverages an extension on payment of excise taxes until the end of the calendar year. 
  • (5/21/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking that the Department prioritize funding for Community Health Centers in its response to the pandemic.
  • (5/22/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking the USDA to extend waivers which allow for food assistance to be distributed more safely during the pandemic through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Disaster Household Distribution Program (TEFAP).
  • (5/26/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy asking that any future stimulus bills include measures to address effects on the budget deficit once the pandemic has passed.
  • 5/26/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that the next stimulus bill include further assistance for K-12 education to ensure that our schools are able to continue to serve children during and after the pandemic.
  • (5/27/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration asking that local branches of Planned Parenthood which have received pandemic relief funding not be targeted for investigations, as they are eligible under the CARES Act.
  • (5/27/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) asking him to ensure that the needs of women and girls during the pandemic are addressed. 
  • (5/28/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Administrator of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asking for information on the IRS Non-Filer website, including how many people’s records had been transferred into its database, how many people had used it, and how many complaints the IRS had received about the site’s usability. 
  • (6/3/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the leaders of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives, asking that future stimulus bills include funding for international research and development efforts to fight the pandemic. 
  • (6/11/2020) - Chrissy singed a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate asking that they act to protect farm workers during the pandemic. 
  • (6/12/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to Governor Wolf and the CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission asking them to reconsider a decision to terminate toll worker jobs due to the pandemic. 
  • (6/19/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Education asking her to change how pandemic relief funding is distributed to private schools to make sure that help is being given based on need. 
  • (6/29/2020) - Chrissy signed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture asking him to extend waivers for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which make it easier for low-income Pennsylvanians to get the food that they need during the pandemic.