Rep. Chu Statement on Third Coronavirus Relief Package
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This $2 trillion bill is the third relief package passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes $200 billion for hospitals, health systems, and health research, including funding for personal protective equipment (PPE). It also provides for longer unemployment insurance with an additional $600 each week per recipient for up to four months, and also provides direct payments of $1200 to individuals and an extra $500 per child. Businesses would receive a temporary refundable payroll tax credit to keep their employees on payroll under this bill, and would also be eligible for grants and loan forgiveness from the Small Business Administration. Additionally, the CARES act provides eviction protection for Americans with federal-backed mortgage loans, and protection for renters whose building has a federal loan, and pauses federal student loan payments, and ensures that relief for corporations could not be used on stock buybacks or CEO salaries. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:
“The coronavirus pandemic has upended our country. And it is demanding sacrifices of all of us. Businesses have had to shut their doors, threating the livelihoods of millions. Parents have had to double as teachers while schools are closed. And all of us have been asked to socially distance and stay home in order to flatten the curve and help our healthcare workers contain this threat. This is an unprecedented national response unseen outside of times of war. And I am so moved by the unity on display in the San Gabriel Valley and across the country as we all do our part to help defeat this virus. That includes Congress. As the coronavirus arrived in America, we provided $8.3 billion in emergency funds to increase testing, combat the virus, and help small businesses. We followed that with a second package to provide family and sick leave, so that those who need to miss work to care for themselves or a loved one do not have to risk losing their jobs or their homes. And today, we passed the largest economic recovery bill in our history to help the country through this time.
“Our first priority must be to end this crisis as soon as possible so the country can get back to work. For that to happen, we need to get supplies and funds to hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers. Last week, I convened a call with healthcare providers from the San Gabriel Valley, and every single one of them called for more masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) so they can do their jobs and care for the sick. And so I am pleased that today’s bill includes $200 billion to help our nation’s healthcare infrastructure rise to meet this need.
“Next, we have to support families and workers. Nobody should be forced to work if they’re sick or if a family member needs them. But many others are losing their jobs through no fault of their own. For these workers, paid leave is no longer helpful. They need direct assistance. And so today’s bill provides $1,200 in direct to individuals, and another $500 per child up to a certain income threshold. That’s in addition to increased unemployment insurance (UI), which has been extended by 13 weeks, with an additional $600 a week for the next 4 months. This guarantees that workers here in the San Gabriel Valley and across the country can keep themselves fed and pay their rent during this pandemic. This bill also includes billions in grants for Small Businesses, support for schools and those with student loans, and protections to help people avoid eviction or foreclosure from their homes.
“Those worker protections also guided Democrats to pressure Republicans to add transparency and limitations on corporate bailouts. Any corporation receiving a bailout loan is prohibited from buying back its own stocks for until one year after they have repaid their loan. We also fought for and secured worker protections, such as prohibiting outsourcing and honoring existing collective bargaining agreements We have also secured real-time public reporting of these bailouts and an independent Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of these loans to protect taxpayer dollars.
“This bill is not perfect. I’m disappointed that Republicans used a pandemic as an opportunity to expand the Hyde Amendment, denying essential healthcare to women just when we should be bolstering our healthcare infrastructure. This bill did not close the gaps in our paid family and medical leave laws, which we must do to ensure that no one goes to work sick for fear of being fired, and that everyone has the ability to stay home and take care of an ill loved one. And I’m deeply disappointed that this bill does not include the same assistance and coverage for immigrants that it does for citizens. This virus does not care about immigration status, it does not discriminate based on who has health insurance and who does not. But, ultimately, this is bipartisan, timely, and targeted. I’m proud we could work so quickly to put money into the hands of workers and families as we all join together to defeat coronavirus, and I will continue to fight to ensure that everyone has access to the healthcare and relief efforts we all need in order to weather this storm.”