COVID-19 Legislation

JUMP TO INFORMATION AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT...

$900B COVID-19 Relief Package   


$900B COVID-19 Relief Package

Passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 and signed into law by the President on December 27, 2020, the bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 relief package marks a down payment on real relief for Pennsylvanians—starting, first and foremost, with critical funding to get the COVID-19 vaccine distributed through our communities as quickly as possible. Providing a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for our hardest-hit main street businesses. Offering rental assistance supporting not only those struggling to make rent, but our landlords, too. Supporting child care providers so we can help give parents the options they need to return to work. Investing in funding for our schools to repair and replace HVAC systems so we can help get our students back in the classroom. And putting money directly in the pockets of Pennsylvanians.

 

Download Rep. Wild's Guide to the $900B COVID-19 Relief Package.

On March 27, the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This historic, families and workers-first legislation is the largest stimulus package in modern history, and includes Wild’s bipartisan legislation to prioritize and improve meal delivery and nutrition services for seniors during the coronavirus outbreak. 

For what this legislation means for your business, your hospital, or your family, check out these frequently asked questions.

Specifically, this historic legislation directly helps the small businesses, hospitals, and working families of Pennsylvania’s Seventh District through these initiatives: 

  • 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 Pennsylvania will receive approximately $4.964 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit Pennsylvania’s residents.

  • $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 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:  Provides for immediate, 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.

  • More Than $375 Billion in 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 for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.

  • Approximately $200 Billion 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 expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.

  • 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.  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.  Pennsylvania will receive $1.13 billion under this program.

    • HUD Emergency Solution Grants:  Provides $2 billion for 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, Pennsylvania will receive $112 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.  Pennsylvania will receive $105 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.  Pennsylvania will receive $15.3 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.  Pennsylvania will receive $28 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 Pennsylvania is $18.8 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.  Pennsylvania will receive $14.12 million for these purposes. 

Download Rep. Wild's Guide to the CARES Act here


Signed into law in mid-March, the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the second federal response package to facilitate a fully-funded, government-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Implementation guidance for federal workers here, all other workers here.

Fact sheet for employers.      

Fact sheet for employees.       

Frequently asked Questions

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides

  • Free testing for coronavirus: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that all individuals who need a test, including those with private insurance, Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will have access at no cost.

  • Economic security:

    • Paid emergency leave: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. 

    • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives states the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave. This measure also provides additional funding to help the hardest-hit states immediately and in the future if conditions worsen.

  • Food security: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes more than $1 billion to provide food to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, help local food banks, and feed low-income seniors. It ensures that students who depend on schools and child care for free and reduce-priced meals continue to have access to nutritious foods during closures. And it provides women, infants, and children with the flexibility to access food and infant formula without having to make unnecessary or unsafe visits to clinics.

  • Health security: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), which the federal government provides to state and territorial Medicaid programs. This will prevent states from cutting benefits, reducing their Medicaid rolls, or imposing greater costs on enrollees.


In early March, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law. This emergency appropriations package was the first in a series of legislative responses to combat this public health emergency. The legislation provides $8.3 billion in all new funding for a robust response to this public health emergency. That includes $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation.

Among its provisions, the emergency supplemental includes:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;

  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies;

  • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;

  • $435 million to support health systems overseas to prevent, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus;

  • $300 million to respond to humanitarian needs;

  • $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions; and

  • Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses.

The emergency supplemental also contains other strong provisions to ensure a full response and keep Americans safe. The bill: 

  • Requires that funds are only used to fight the coronavirus and other infectious diseases;

  • Allows seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;

  • Helps ensure that vaccines and treatments for coronavirus are affordable; and

  • Ensures that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.

Additionally, the bill includes a requirement to reimburse $136 million to important health accounts, including mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention and heating and cooling assistance for low-income families, that was transferred by the administration to support its response.

 

Share