CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE VOTES TO ENACT THIRD PIECE OF EMERGENCY LEGISLATION, PROVIDE RELIEF FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES DURING COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
March 27, 2020 (Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to enact a third relief package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The $2 trillion investment represents the largest stimulus bill in American history and will provide direct payments to individuals, support for small businesses, aid for healthcare systems, and more.
“As we work to combat this global health crisis, we must prioritize the needs of struggling families and workers,” said Rep. Joe Morelle. “That’s why this legislation—which provides immediate relief to low-income and middle-class families while ensuring essential supports for small businesses and employees—is so critical. There is much work still to be done, but my colleagues and I will continue taking action to help our communities get through this unprecedented challenge and emerge stronger than ever.”
The CARES Act is historic, bipartisan legislation that takes important strides towards helping American families and workers through the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the legislation includes:
Direct relief to individuals and families:
- Direct payments of $1,200 for individuals earning up to $75,000, gradually phasing out for higher earners and end for those with incomes more than $99,000;
- $2,400 for married couples with adjusted gross income up to $150,000;
- Additional cash payment of $500 per child.
Assistance for unemployed workers:
- $260 billion investment in Unemployment Insurance, including $600 increase for every American, which equates to 100 percent of wages for the average American without a paycheck;
- An additional 13 weeks of federally-funded unemployment insurance benefits are immediately be made available;
- Allow part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers to access unemployment insurance benefits.
Support for small businesses:
- $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and non-profits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities;
- $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs;
- $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
Aid to local governments:
- $5.1 billion for New York State Coronavirus Relief Fund;
- More than $128 million for Monroe County to assist with coronavirus response efforts;
- $4,889,414 in Emergency Solutions Grants for the City of Rochester to support families and individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as additional homeless assistance to mitigate the impact;
- Immediate Community Development Block Grant funds, including $4,883,258 for the City of Rochester, $539,540 for the town of Irondequoit, $250,601 for the town of Greece, and $1,095,772 for Monroe County.
Investment in healthcare systems:
- $200 billion investment in hospitals, health systems and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations:
- $2 billion for HUD Emergency Solution Grants to states that will be distributed by formula. These grants are designed to address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Of this $2 billion, NY will receive $191,445,710.
- $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to supports child care and early education. New York will receive $162,429,958 under this emergency appropriation.
- $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). New York will receive $28,488,000.
- $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the impact of Coronavirus on 2020 elections. New York State will receive $20,463,651 to be used for increased accessibility measures such as implementing vote by mail, expanding early voting, and expanding online registration.
This is the third piece of relief legislation aimed at addressing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as well as an $8.3 billion emergency funding package to mitigate the personal and economic impact coronavirus may have on families, especially vulnerable populations such as seniors, children, and low-income individuals.
The CARES Act has been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and will now be sent to the President for his approval.