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U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce New Support for Health Care Providers Impacted by COVID-19

WASHINGTON, [12.23.21] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-Minnesota) announced new relief for Minnesota health care providers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Combined, the programs will commit over $340 million in much-needed relief. Nearly $200 million of those funds will be dedicated to rural providers who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. These funds are available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which both Senators Klobuchar and Smith helped pass. “Ensuring Minnesota’s health care providers have the resources they need to care for our communities is crucial to the success and prosperity of our state,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “For nearly two years, care providers have gone above and beyond to help us combat this pandemic. This federal funding is an important step in providing them with much-needed relief so they can continue their life-saving work.” “Our health care providers in Minnesota, particularly those serving rural areas, have been overburdened during this pandemic,” said Sen. Smith. “This assistance is a lifeline that will allow our health care providers to continue responding to the pandemic and delivering quality care to folks in every corner of our state.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing $9 billion in phase 4 Provider Relief Fund payments to support health care providers who have experienced revenue losses and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota health care providers will receive $147.6 million of that funding. HHS will distribute an additional $193.9 million in

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on Build Back Better Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/19/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on Senator Joe Manchin’s reversal on the Build Back Better Act: “‘I just can’t get there.’  I’ve heard that before when Senator Manchin killed off the Clean Electricity Plan.  He was wrong then and he’s dangerously wrong now.  Failing to pass Build Back Better condemns us to higher energy prices, fewer jobs, and a back seat to those that take action and lead on technology and innovation.  This stance is downright unpatriotic, and it utterly fails to address the climate crisis. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill was an important initial down payment on U.S. research and development.  But anyone who thinks R&D alone will make us a leader in the 21st century economy, has a dangerously naïve vision of what is happening.  The Build Back Better Act is what would make us a leader.  The tax credits and other provisions would allow us to develop clean energy domestic markets, domestic manufacturing, domestic supply chains, and crucially, American jobs.  Our economic competitors in Europe and Asia will have no qualms about taking our research and developing their own industry and supply chains.  They will take great joy in selling us their electric cars and their green technology.  If we want to capture the emissions from our steel plants, they will be happy to sell us the equipment to do that too at a profit.  The reality is that if we fail to act, others will corner global markets for everything

U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Seek Information on How Shutdown is Hurting Ability to Protect Americans From Robocallers and Scammers

WASHINGTON, D.C. [01/24/19]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide more information on how the shutdown is impeding the agency’s ability to protect consumers in Minnesota and across the country from robocallers and scammers. This month, reports indicated that the government shutdown could cause illegal and scamming robocalls to rise dramatically because the FTC is unable to administer key consumer protection programs or take enforcement action against bad actors. On Wednesday, Sens. Klobuchar and Smith joined an effort led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to call for FTC guidance on how to assist constituents hurt by robocalls and scams during

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect Tribal Programs In Minnesota, Across Nation From Future Funding Uncertainty

WASHINGTON, D.C. [01/25/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) helped introduce legislation to protect federal and tribal programs from budget uncertainty caused by government shutdowns and short-term funding packages. Sen. Smith has heard concerns from tribal leaders in Minnesota as the current shutdown continues and a lack of federal funds puts critical programs at risk. The bill—called the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act (IPAAA) led by Senate Indian Affairs Committee Vice Chairman Tom Udall (D-N.M)—would authorize advance resources for programs and services within the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Currently, critical federal programs at the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on Deal to Reopen Government

WASHINGTON, D.C. [01/25/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement following the announcement that an agreement was reached to end the current shutdown and reopen the federal government: “From the beginning, the government shutdown was a waste focused on a political symbol instead of real solutions. Finally, President Trump is realizing the increasingly harmful toll the shutdown is taking on our country. I’m glad a deal has been reached to reopen the government and focus on meaningful negotiations, but we still need to make sure federal contract employees get back pay—which is an issue I introduced a bill

Sen. Tina Smith Continues to Lead Push to Secure Back Pay For Federal Contract Workers Financially Devastated by Shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. [01/29/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), continued to lead the push to secure back pay for the thousands of federal contract workers who went many weeks without a paycheck during the 35-day federal shutdown. Unlike federal government employees who returned to work this week, the thousands of federal contract employees—many of whom serve in modestly-paid jobs—have no assurances that they will receive back pay to make up for the wages they missed during the shutdown. On Tuesday, Sen. Smith was joined at a Capitol Hill press conference by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), and a coalition of several other Congressional Democrats to discuss