Dear Neighbor,

It has been another eventful week in our community.  As we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and other matters of importance, my team and I are continuing to work with our neighbors on all kinds of issues.  Below is this week’s update.

This week, I introduced the bipartisan Loan Interest Forgiveness for Taxpayers Under a Pandemic (LIFT UP) Act with Congressman Pete Olson.  Our bill would help small businesses in our community that are confronting the effects of COVID-19 by expanding debt forgiveness for CARES Act loans if they are also paying back other Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.  Keeping small businesses operating through loans provided by the CARES Act has been essential to mitigating the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the businesses that received previous SBA disaster loans to help them through other setbacks, like Hurricane Harvey, the LIFT UP Act provides additional flexibility and relief during this time. 

Additionally, I was proud to announce another bipartisan bill that I introduced with my colleague, Congressman Jack Bergman: the Redeeming Effectiveness to Carbon Oxide Utilization Plus Sequestration (RECOUPS) Act of 2020.  As the energy capital of the world, it is essential to support projects that invest in our energy future, such as carbon capture technology.  Our bill provides a direct pay option for Section 45Q tax credits, ensuring financial certainty for energy producers and businesses investing in carbon capture technology.  These projects are critical to our energy future and to addressing our most pressing environmental challenges, and I was glad to partner with Congressman Bergman in this effort to help companies jump start these projects.

Negotiations for the next coronavirus relief bill continue among House and Senate leadership, as well as the White House.  I share the frustration of many of our community that another week has passed and negotiators have yet to come to an agreement.  As I have been in Houston, hearing from many of you and working with our local leaders, it is clear that people need relief now.  This is why the House passed the Heroes Act months ago.  We saw this moment coming, and we knew the American people needed us to act.  I stand ready to vote again in support of legislation to protect Americans' lives and livelihoods, and I will continue to advocate for the needs of our neighbors in the next package. 

I was glad so many in our community were able to join me for a Small Business Webinar this week.  I am grateful to Tim Jeffcoat, the District Director of the Houston Small Business Administration, and Winston Labbe, the Outreach and Marketing Specialist, for joining us and providing their expertise on how small businesses can apply for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness. Here’s a reminder that the PPP loan forgiveness period will open Monday, click below for more information!

The U.S. Census Bureau announced this week that it will end counting efforts for the 2020 Census on September 30 – a month sooner than previously planned.  That includes door-knocking efforts, collecting responses online, over the phone, and by mail. 

It’s critical that we talk to our loved ones and urge them to fill out the Census as soon as possible. With the count ending early, resources needed for our district—and everywhere—could be limited and disproportionate. Here’s the link:, and you can also call 844-330-2020.

Here’s why it is important that everyone in our community is counted: the count translates directly to federal revenue coming back to our state and our district for the next ten years.  These federal resources to support and improve our schools, infrastructure, and more.

And if you have filled yours out, you can help by encouraging your family and friends to complete theirs today!

As of Friday, more than 8,000 of our fellow Texans have passed away from the coronavirus – including 897 of our neighbors in the Houston region.  It’s a sobering reminder that even as the rate of increase in case numbers begins to slow down, the virus’ impact has had life-altering consequences to so many.  As we grow accustomed to the changes in our daily routine, it is important that we do not grow tired of them.  Please continue to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and stay home if possible.  That is the only way we will be able to bring the curve back down to a manageable level.  Harris County is still under a COVID-19 Threat Level 1, meaning we must continue to take all precautions possible to control the spread. You can find Harris County-specific information here.  For any questions on what kind of assistance is available to you and your family on the many impacts of the coronavirus, my office a COVID-19 Resources Page.

With everything going on in our community and around the country, please remember that my team and I are here for you.  Share your thoughts and concerns – and let us know how we can help.  You can email here, or call my office at (713) 353-8680 any time.

I am proud to represent you, and I am here to help you.

Best wishes, 

1429 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2571
5599 San Felipe Road, Suite 950
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: (713) 353-8680