U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) today issued the following statement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation provides $2 trillion in economic relief for Americans, including direct cash payments, significant expansion of unemployment insurance, small business grants, and funding for personal protective equipment. The bill will now go to the President's desk for his signature.
"This package is focused on stabilizing our economy by providing additional critical support for our health care system, small businesses, state and local governments, workers and families. It gets money in people's pockets quickly and expands unemployment insurance benefits to provide substantial relief over the next four months to help provide financial protection for millions of Americans while providing other forms of relief such as suspending federal student loan payments for six months. It also provides additional relief to small businesses and their workers through the expansion of Small Business Administration lending programs and creation of the Paycheck Protection Program which will forgive the portions of certain loans used to keep employees on payroll for up to eight weeks.
"At the same time, this package makes critical short- and long-term investments in the health care system including supplying additional personal protective equipment for our front line healthcare workers and first responders, replenishing the Strategic National Stockpile, supporting federal, state and local public health agencies, grants for local school systems and higher education institutions, and assistance for child care.
"As we first work to combat the public health emergency at hand, it's important to keep families, businesses and the economy operating as normally as possible. This stabilization package is the third in a series of efforts to try and do just that, however more will be needed. I am confident Congress will work together to meet the emerging needs in the weeks to come."
This stabilization packages includes several provisions that will benefit the residents and businesses of Colorado:
* State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund: Creates a $150 billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It's estimated that Colorado will receive approximately $2.2 million in desperately needed funds to benefit our state's residents.
* Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
* Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Americans: Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
* Small Business Relief: Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
* Investment in Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Health Research: Provides an investment of about $200 billion in our 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.
* Student Loan Relief: Suspends monthly payments on federally-backed student loans (Dire Loans and FFEL Loans held by the Department of Education) through September 30, 2020.
The package also includes more than $100 billion in additional emergency appropriations for items such as:
o Strategic National Stockpile: Provides $16 billion to replenish the nation's emergency supply of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
o Defense Production Act: Provides $1 billion to bolster domestic supply chains and help ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators and other urgently needed medical supplies.
o FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund: More than doubles the available funding to help meet the immediate needs of state, local, tribal and territorial governments as they recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
o K-12 & Higher Education: Provides $30.75 billion in grants to provide emergency support to local school systems and higher education institutions to continue to provide educational services to students.
o HUD Emergency Solution Grants: Provides $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.
o Child Care and Development Block Grant: Supports child care and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
o Election Assistance: Provides $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections. Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting, and expand online registration.