H.R. 6897 – Local News and Emergency Information Act of 2020

Summary: This bill expands the Paycheck Protection Program, established to support small businesses in response to COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019), to include certain newspaper publishers, radio stations, and television broadcasters.

Specifically, such a media purveyor is eligible to receive a paycheck protection loan if (1) the individual physical location that applies for the loan does not exceed Small Business Administration size standards (up to 1,000 employees for newspaper publishers and $41.5 million in gross receipts for radio and television broadcasters); and (2) the proceeds of the loan are used to support the continued provision of local news, information, content, or emergency information. Such a recipient may not remit any portion of a paycheck protection loan to any entity other than the individual physical location that is the loan’s intended recipient.(Cosponsors)

ANGIE CRAIG’S POSITION: Representative Craig co-sponsored the bill on 08/07/20.

STATUS: Introduced 5/15/20 by Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1]

INFORMATION RELATED TO THE BILL:

  • “Today, House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Ranking Member F. James Sensenbrenner (WI-05) introduced the Local News and Emergency Information Act. The legislation would ensure that all local news organizations are eligible for federal stimulus through the Paycheck Protection Program.

    “Reliable local information and reporting in our communities is more important than ever,” Cicilline said. “Newsrooms around the country have been forced to lay off workers because of the coronavirus epidemic. This legislation will save jobs and protect people’s access to timely and accurate information about their communities. As our country responds and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, protecting the free and diverse press is more important than ever to preserve our public health and safety, local businesses, and our democracy.”

    (Source: Rep. David Cicilline Press Release, 05/15/20)

ADDITIONAL DETAIL:

Link to the text of the bill.

Link to bill information (support and opposition) on Countable.

Link to bill information on GovTrack.

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