Today, Congress has shown it can come together to deal with a health care crisis unlike any we’ve seen in ourlifetime.The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which I voted for today, gives additional resources to combat this virus and provide relief to small business, workers, schools, students and farmers, among others. We will continue to find solutions to take care of American’s health and safety, and to get our economy back on track.
The bill includes crucial funding and relief:
For fighting the coronavirus – $150 billion for health equipment, infrastructure, and medical research to give our healthcare professionals the resources they desperately need during this emergency.
$100 billion for a new program to provide grants to hospitals, public entities, not-for-profit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and institutional providers to cover health care related expenses resulting from the coronavirus.
$27 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund
$1.3 billion for Community Health Centers for COVID testing and treatment and an increase of over $2 billion for Community Health Centers for general services in 2020.
$1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains, enabling industry to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies.
For our workers – $260 billion in Unemployment Insurance benefits to match the average paycheck of laid-off or furloughed workers.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed workers and contractors who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
For our small businesses – $377 billion in grants and loan payment relief, including making rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.
Relief for small business owners, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors through the Paycheck Protection Program.
For our students – $30.75 billion in emergency education funding and eliminated income tax on student loan repayment assistance by an employer.
For our rural communities – $100 million for the construction and equipment necessary to increase rural broadband access and telehealth opportunities, as well as $250 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.
For our farmers – $40 billion in emergency food and farm aid to support our vulnerable communities and our essential agricultural workers who feed America.
$450 million for food banks (Emergency Food Assistance Program).