March 27, 2020

Congressman Neguse Secures Essential Provisions for Coloradans in Bipartisan CARES Act

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, a member of the House Democratic Leadership team, issued the following statement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This legislation provides $2 trillion in economic relief for Americans, including direct cash payments, historic expansion of unemployment insurance, small business grants, funding for personal protective equipment, the National Guard, FEMA, affordable housing, food assistance programs and election assistance.

“This public health emergency places us on the precipice of a significant economic crisis. Unprecedented circumstances require an unprecedented and urgent response to provide immediate relief for American families, hospitals and businesses.”

“This bill does not include everything that I believe it should have, but its immediate investments are vital and ones that Coloradans simply cannot wait to receive.  I have been in constant conversations with my colleagues in the House and Senate over the past week to advocate for Colorado’s communities and to secure essential provisions in the CARES Act, including cash payments for American workers and the inclusion of grants rather than loans for our small businesses so they are not placed under additional undue financial burdens, along with several other needed provisions. However, I remain disappointed by concessions made by the Senate regarding direct monetary relief for families (which should be much higher), the lack of stronger controls and conditions concerning corporate loans, and a local government limitation that could make it harder for municipalities to quickly receive aid they need. I fought tremendously hard to change these limitations and many others in the final bill, and will continue to fight for these issues in the coming weeks.” 

“The fact remains, however, that Coloradans need relief now, which is why I voted in favor of this measure — to bring added investments for small businesses and families now. This is an important first step, and we will need to do more soon. Tomorrow we must get back up and continue the fight to fully and wholeheartedly support Americans throughout this public health crisis.”

 

Congressman Neguse was able to secure the following provisions for Coloradans in the CARES Act: 

  • Direct cash payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child for most American taxpayers to supplement lost income and help with unexpected expenses as a result of this crisis, See Rep. Neguse’s call for cash assistance here;
  • Historic expansion of unemployment insurance to replace 100% of average wages to help furloughed and laid-off workers; an additional $600 per week for the next four months; an extra 13 weeks of eligibility; and assistance for freelancers;
  • $2 billion for Colorado’s Coronavirus Relief Fund; 
  • A minimum $10 million in emergency assistance for Colorado from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); 
  • $42 million to support Colorado’s child care and early education through Child Care and Development Block Grants;
  • $16 million additional funding for Colorado’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
  • $22 million in funding to support Colorado’s homeless population, through HUD Emergency Solution Grants;
  • $325 million in transit assistance for Colorado; 
  • $6 million in election assistance for Colorado, $400 million nationwide to help prepare for the 2020 election cycle, including expansion of vote by mail and early voting;
  • $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile supply of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies, which are distributed to State and local health agencies, hospitals and other healthcare entities facing shortages. See Rep. Neguse’s letter here; 
  • $1 billion for the implementation of the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains and enable industry to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies, Rep. Neguse continues to advocate for utilization of this act; 
  • $4.3 billion to support federal, state, and local public health coronavirus response; purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), laboratory testing, infection control and mitigation and other public health preparedness and response activities. 
  • $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and nonprofits; $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs; $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loan; and make rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness, See Neguse’s letter advocating for a disaster declaration for Colorado; 
  • $100 billion for a new program to provide direct aid to health care institutions on the front line of this crisis;
  • Nearly $1.5 billion for National Guard support to States and territories, See Rep. Neguse’s letter here;
  • $400 million for FEMA grants, including $100 million Assistance to Firefighter Grants to provide personal protective equipment, supplies, and reimbursements and $100 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants, See Rep Neguse’s letter here;
  • $450 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to assist food banks across the country;
  • $30.75 billion for grants to provide emergency support to local school systems and higher education institutions to continue to provide educational services to their students and support the on-going functionality of school districts and institutions;
  • $100 million for a ReConnect program to provide grants for broadband facilities, equipment, and related construction in eligible rural areas;
  • $25 million for telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas;
  • $15.85 billion to help veterans, including to help treat COVID-19, purchase test kits, and procure personal protective equipment for clinicians, and $590 million in dedicated funding to treat vulnerable veterans, including homeless veterans and those in VA-run nursing homes;
  • The bill provides a corporate accountability provision which prohibits stock buybacks or dividends from corporate executives. 
  • The bill provides for a temporary exemption from excise tax for alcohol used to produce hand sanitizer. See Neguse’s letter to FDA here.