Congressman Carson Statement in Support of Third Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Package
Washington, DC -- Today, Congressman André Carson released this statement after the passage of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security), a historic bill that puts families and workers first, which will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.
"I’m honored to support the CARES Act — Congress’ biggest and boldest effort yet to tackle the COVID-19 crisis," Rep. Carson said. "This comprehensive legislation provides an unprecedented $2 trillion dollars to help our families, workers, and small businesses deal with this pandemic’s challenge to our health and our economy. And House Democrats worked to ensure this legislation prioritizes every day Americans and the people most in need of assistance."
Here are just a few of the numerous initiatives in this historic piece of legislation that will benefit Hoosiers.
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 Indiana will receive approximately $2.6 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit Hoosiers.
$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.
Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans: Provides for a one-time, 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.
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 debt relief for current and new Small Business Administration (SBA) borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
Help 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 increased funding for the personal protective equipment and medical equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
Relief from Eviction: The bill bans evictions, foreclosures, and repossessions – including manufactured homes, RVs, and cars nationwide – to ensure that people can safely quarantine in their homes, if necessary. These provisions help homeowners and renters living in federally financed homes, but more needs to be done to help renters in market-rate properties, and I look forward to getting this help passed in our next package.
Support for Aviation: $25 billion to air carriers, $3 billion to airline contractors providing ground staff, $4 billion to cargo haulers, and $10 billion to Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.
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. And it also includes $1 billion for Amtrak. 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. Indiana will receive more than $235 million under this program.
- HUD Emergency Solution Grants: Provides $2 billion for Housing and Urban Development (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, Indiana will receive more than $40 million. 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. Indiana will receive more than $78 million 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. Indiana will receive nearly $6 million 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. Indiana will receive more than $17 million 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 Indiana is around $11.5 million. 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. Indiana will receive nearly $8 million for these purposes.
"While this is a major step in the right direction, there’s much more work to be done to combat this crisis," Rep. Carson added.
"I will continue to work tirelessly across the aisle and with every level of government to help us weather this storm, and help prevent similar crises in the future. Let’s stay safe, follow the public health guidelines, and take care of each other. If we work together, we can emerge stronger and more united."