Rep. Wild Applauds Passage of Historic Families & Workers-First Coronavirus Legislation
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) applauded passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, historic families and workers-first legislation which will now go to the President’s desk for signature. Included in this comprehensive response package is the Combatting Hunger for Older Americans During Coronavirus Crisis Act, Wild’s bipartisan legislation to prioritize and improve meal delivery and nutrition services for seniors during the coronavirus outbreak. This marks the second time in one week that a bipartisan Wild bill is making its way to the President’s desk.
“As I've said since the start of this crisis, my top concern is the health, safety, and economic security of working families in PA-07, as well as our health care providers and small businesses,” Wild said. “Across my community our nurses, lab technicians, PAs, physicians, and custodial and cafeteria staff have put our most vulnerable ahead of themselves. I am proud to see my bill to support our most at-risk population – our seniors - included in this critical legislation. This crisis demands a fully-funded, government-wide response. Today, we respond to this emergency robustly, and provide immediate, meaningful assistance to our communities’ front-line health care workers, hungry families, and at-risk seniors.”
Wild’s bill, the Combatting Hunger for Older Americans During Coronavirus Crisis Act, would help ensure older individuals and individuals with disabilities receive the meals provided to them under the Older Americans Act through in-home delivery, as opposed to group settings, through this pandemic.
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.