Stanton: ‘Help Is On The Way’
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Greg Stanton joined his House colleagues today in unanimously passing a historic bill to bring emergency relief to families and small businesses and ensure communities and tribal nations have the resources they need to respond to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The President signed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law this afternoon.
“In the midst of an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, Arizonans deserve to know that their government is working hard to support them and deliver meaningful solutions,” said Stanton. “To our health care workers, first responders, working families, small business owners, educators, and everyday Arizonans feeling the effects of the pandemic, help is on the way. I will continue to fight to make sure we have the resources to combat the coronavirus and the support to sustain our economy.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a significant impact on the national economy. The CARES Act includes bold solutions that are desperately needed to protect the health and well-being of workers and families. It also accelerates emergency funds to state and local health care providers to ensure they have the equipment and resources they need to continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The CARES Act includes:
- A $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide state and local governments additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated that Arizona will receive $2.82 billion to benefit our communities and residents.
- Approximately $200 Billion for Our Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Health Research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, and more.
- $260 Billion in Expanded Unemployment Benefits including an additional $600 per week for the next four weeks, 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 of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child. The full payment is available for individuals earning up to $75,000 and households earning up to $150,000—the value decreases then phases out for those making more than the full payment income cap. 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, 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.
Arizona will benefit from receiving its share of more than $100 billion in additional emergency appropriations included in the CARES Act.
- Transit Agencies: Arizona’s transit agencies will receive $311.9 million to protect the jobs of transit agency employees and fund paychecks during this public health emergency. These funds will help maintain critical transportation services and provide personal protective equipment to workers.
- HUD Emergency Solution Grants: To address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, Arizona will receive $33.5 million in HUD Emergency Solution Grants. These funds will also support individuals facing eviction.
- Airport Improvement Program: The bill includes $10 billion in grants to support airports including Phoenix Sky Harbor and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway. The coronavirus is significantly impacting airports; boardings at Phoenix Sky Harbor are already down 50 percent compared to this time last year.
- Child Care and Development Block Grant: Arizona will receive $87.3 million to support child care and early education through the Child Care and Development Block Grant. These dollars will be critical to working parents left without adequate child care solutions during prolonged school closures.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): To ensure that low-income families can continue to pay their energy and air-conditioning bills, the legislation provides $900 million. Arizona will receive $16.4 million to help low-income families pay their bills.
- Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program: Through Byrne-JAG Grants, Arizona’s public safety and law enforcement officers will get $19.3 million more to respond to the crisis—essential funding for personal protective equipment and other needed medical items, as well as to support overtime for officers on the front lines.
- CDC Coronavirus State, Local and Tribal Grants minimum awards: The CDC is sending emergency funding to local communities through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program—this includes funds for laboratory testing and infection control. Arizona will receive $12.4 million for these critical public health needs. There also is a set-aside for tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian health organizations.
- Election Assistance: To ensure COVID-19 won’t put election security or safety at risk, nearly $8 million will support Arizona’s 2020 elections. These funds can be used to expand vote by mail and early vote options, boost online registration, add vote centers and increase safety at poll sites
This bill builds on top of Congress’s first two coronavirus response bills, a funding package of $8.3 billion of new funds and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—both of which have been signed by the President.