Last week, your San Antonio Chamber of Commerce kicked of its highly anticipated 2020 Congressional Series with Congressman Chip Roy (TX-21). The event was livestreamed via WebEx, allowing attendees to fully engage with the Congressman and ask questions about the most pressing issues facing Congress and how they impact the San Antonio business climate. Congressman Roy kicked off the virtual event by assuring business and community leaders that he is working hard with the Bexar County Delegation, his colleagues in Congress, and city leadership to represent the interest of the people.
Congressman Roy began by stating he supported two of the three Coronavirus relief packages. He voted against the Families First Coronavirus Response Act because of his concern with the paid sick leave mandate. “You can’t pay sick leave if there are no jobs from which to take sick leave,” Roy told business leaders attending the event. While it is a well-intended mandate to ensure those who are sick have sick leave paid for, Roy was concerned the mandate would force businesses to lay off employees. Roy did acknowledge that the bill had some good parts, but the mandate was his biggest concern.
While he did not get the chance to vote for the CARES Act, he has said publicly that he would have supported the bill. However, while Roy did have serious reservations about the bill, the $350 billion for small businesses was first and foremost on his mind. He expressed concern that the unemployment insurance provision now pays people more not to work than to work. He also had reservations about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), referencing the joint Op-Ed he wrote in the Wall Street Journal with Emily Williams Knight of the Texas Restaurant Association. His primary concern about the PPP is the loan process. Roy says many businesses are borrowing money without knowing whether it will be forgiven, and they can’t hire workers because we have an unemployment insurance that pays people more not to work than to work. Roy would have preferred the PPP had been fixed before Congress injected another $310 billion into the program.
Roy has been an advocate for reopening the economy. “We need to be able to worship together, work together, and interact together,” Roy told attendees. Roy believes that the economic fundamentals from six – eight weeks ago will return if we move quickly to open our economy, while protecting our seniors and the most vulnerable. Roy said he wants people to “stop turning to Washington for money, because we can’t spend our way out of this.”
Congressman Roy wanted to hear from viewers and answered a variety of questions, addressing concerns about regulatory reform, the impact of COVID-19 on FY21 Appropriations, election security, protecting civil liberties, and the deficit. Given time constraints, Congressman Roy was unable to answer all questions submitted by viewers. Chamber staff has shared all unanswered questions with the Congressman’s office, and once they are answered, they will be posted on the Chamber’s microsite, sachamberrapidresponse.org.
To watch a recording of the Webinar, click here.
Part two of the Chamber’s highly anticipated Congressional Series will feature Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23) and will take place Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 11:30 am via WebEx. More information and details are forthcoming.