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Pascrell Supports Coronavirus Emergency Legislation

Third congressional relief package will provide immediate help to unemployed, families, small businesses in distress

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) supports the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to give financial relief and assistance to the growing numbers of Americans upended by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which today passed in the House the Representatives.

“This legislation provides life-saving measures of support to the millions of Americans and countless small businesses laid low by COVID-19,” said Rep. Pascrell. “The number one thing that matters is putting aid directly into Americans’ hands so we can weather this storm. Our Democratic leadership did not budge until that support for regular Americans was guaranteed. We know very well that this measure alone is not enough to carry our nation through this brutal moment. It is not a perfect bill by any stretch of the imagination. Our neighbors and our cherished neighborhood small businesses will need more help in the coming weeks and months, as well as our hospitals, post offices, and election boards, among many other institutions.  Adequate funding for testing, respirators, and ventilators must be made available. We must also secure robust support for health care workers, who are on the frontlines of this battle. The House will keep working to provide that help because we’re all in this together.”

Pascrell added: “I am especially grateful for the generous financial support for our first responders in this package. On March 21, we led our state’s delegation highlighting the importance of helping first responders and this package does exactly that. Beating COVID-19 requires supporting the men and women on the frontlines. At this time, there are 8,825 positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey. And tragically 108 individuals in our state have lost their lives. These are friends, family and loved ones. This virus has touched each and every one of us. I grieve for all the lives lost and for those who are fighting tooth and nail to beat this nasty virus. Our front lines are staffed with brave first responders and health care workers doing their best to help those impacted. Across my state, we are hard at work making sure those who need a test are getting tested and we have expanded bed capacity to care for those in need. The coming weeks will be hard for all. And I remain ready and willing to do everything I can for our state and country.”

Provided below is a breakdown of some of the more important provisions of the CARES Act.

Support for Americans: $1,200 of immediate assistance will be sent to American adults, as well as $500 for each child. 

Support for unemployed Americans: An additional $600 per week will be sent to every unemployment insurance recipient impacted by the pandemic for each of the next four months, with 13 additionally weeks of benefits available to those who need them. Importantly, part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers will have access to these unemployment benefits.

Support for small businesses: The bill authorizes $350 billion of 100% guaranteed Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, many of which the SBA will forgive depending on the borrower’s payroll expenses. Approximately $10 billion in direct grants for businesses that did not qualify for relief in the first COVID relief package will be made available. And $17 billion is provided to give the SBA leeway to make six months of principal and interest payments for all SBA-backed business loans.

Support for tax-filing businesses: Declares that losses for 2018, 2019, and 2020 can be carried back five years. Provides an employee retention refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages up to $10,000 per employee. Furthermore, employers may defer their share of payroll taxes until the end of 2020, with payment to be made over two years.

Support for hospitals: Unleashes $100 billion in grant funding to hospitals and health care providers to reimburse lost revenue from this crisis, including a payroll tax credit. The Strategic National Stockpile of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and supplies which are provided to states will be replenished with $16 billion.

Support for first responders: Assures $100 million for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and $850M for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program to purchase medical equipment and supplies.

Support for child care: The Child Care Development Block Grant will get $3.5 billion, with additionally flexibility given to child welfare programs.

Support for future vaccine costs: This legislation guarantees that health plans cover COVID-19 vaccines without any cost-sharing.

Support for democracy: $400M in grant funding to the states to plan expanded vote-by-mail operations this year’s elections.

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