WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA) supported passage of theCoronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – a historic stimulus package designed to help families, workers, and small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.
“We are facing an unprecedented health emergency. Families, workers, health care workers, and small businesses need immediate help from Congress to weather the storm. This legislation is an important step in our ongoing effort to act decisively on behalf of the American people. I am glad that, through hard work and productive negotiations, we were able to produce the bold, pro-worker bill that was desperately needed in this moment,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “As we begin work on additional assistance packages, it is imperative that we all recognize the role we have to play in flattening the curve. Stay home if you can, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly. These practices will save lives.”
The CARES Act provides Massachusetts’s Third District with critical support:
· Homelessness Assistance (Emergency Solutions) Grants – $4,000,000,000 to address the impact of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Eviction prevention activities including rapid rehousing, housing counseling, and rental deposit assistance will mitigate the adverse impacts of the pandemic on working families.
(Up to) $2,000,000,000 allocated within 30 days by current formula [Grantee(s): States and cities; Allocation: current formula; MA estimate: State/non-entitlement (ESTIMATED) -$32,948,103; Lawrence-$1,052,697; Lowell-$1,265,752]
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) –$5,000,000,000 is provided to enable states, counties, and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services. It also waives the cap on funding public service activities.
(Up to) $2,000,000,000 will be allocated to states and local governments within 30 days based upon the formula used to allocate FY20 CDBG aid [Grantee(s): States and cities; Allocation: formula; MA estimate: State/non-entitlement (ESTIMATED) -$20,397,122; Fitchburg-$586,328; Haverhill-$610,970; Lawrence-$1,011,509; Lowell-$1,306,310]
Shortly before passage, Rep. Trahan spoke on the House Floor in favor of the legislation.
You can see that video below, and HERE:
Here are just a few of the numerous initiatives in this historic piece of legislation that will benefit the residents of Massachusetts broadly:
A $150 Billion 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 is estimated that Massachusetts will receive approximately $2,673,000,000 in desperately needed funds to benefit our state’s residents.
$260 Billion in Dramatically 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 Lower and Middle-Income Americans: Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income 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.
More Than $375 Billion in 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.
Approximately $200 Billion for Our 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.
More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations, Including the Following:
Transit Agencies: Provides $25 billion to transit agencies, which have all seen a drastic drop in revenues as social distancing has been implemented. This funding is to be used to protect the jobs of the employees of the transit agencies, funding their paychecks during this public health emergency. Massachusetts will receive $1,044,023,423 under this program.
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. Of this $2 billion, Massachusetts will receive $60,814,510. In addition, the bill provides an additional $2 billion for these grants that will be allocated by HUD to the most hard-pressed areas.
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. Massachusetts will receive $45,362,069 under this emergency appropriation.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. Massachusetts will receive $10,963,000 for this purpose during this public health emergency.
Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program: Provides $850 million for this program, giving additional support to state and local law enforcement agencies, thereby allowing them, for example, to obtain the personal protective equipment and other medical items they may need during this public health emergency. Massachusetts will receive $17,227,538 under this appropriation.
CDC Coronavirus State, Local and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards: Provides about $750 million in CDC State, Local, and . Tribal Grants Minimum Awards to help agencies cope with the public health emergency. The minimum award for Massachusetts is $12,944,000. In addition, states can apply for additional funds above their minimum award, based on their needs.
Election Assistance: Provides $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections. Coronavirus is already resulting in the postponement of some primaries and this funding can help states make voting safer for individuals. Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting, and expand online registration. Massachusetts will receive $8,290,676 for these purposes