March 24, 2020

Latest on Federal Legislative Response to COVID-19

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Last Updated 5/4/2020

March 6: Fiscal Year 2020 Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental, H.R. 6074

The federal response to Covid-19 started back in the first week of March when the Fiscal Year 2020 Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental was signed into law. This 8-billion-dollar deal was primarily aimed at boosting funding for government agencies on the front lines of fighting the virus, including allocations to: 

  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund - $3.4 billion 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - $2.2 billion 
  • Food and Drug Administration - $61 million 
  • National Institutes of Health - $836 million 
  • The State Department - $264 million 
  • The Small Business Administration - $20 million 
  • The United States Agency for International Development - $986 million   

March 18: Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 

The second phase, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, was larger and according to a score by the Joint Committee on Taxation will cost approximately $100 billion. Some of the legislation’s main accomplishments include: 

  • Ensuring free coronavirus testing for the public
  • Providing two weeks of federal emergency paid sick leave to some employees if they contract Covid-19 or if they’re subject to quarantine and isolation due to potential exposure
  • Increased funding for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance benefits

March 27: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), S. 3548

Towards the end of March, when negotiations were ongoing for a phase 3 package, the confirmed cases in the United States increased exponentially, and more states and localities started issuing stay at home orders. It became apparent that the federal response to this public health emergency was going to need to be much more substantial. Lawmakers went back to work and designed the third stimulus package, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act to be much larger in scale and scope and to provide more than $2 trillion dollars of relief. It also sought to equip our states and local governments with more resources to combat the pandemic. To learn more about what was included in this package:

  • Read a detailed blog that breaks down CARES funding here
  • Watch our April 7 webinar event: Covid-19 Response Advocacy – What's in the CARES Act & What's Next here. 

April 24: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, H.R. 266

The most recent piece of legislation signed into law is the is the $484 billion interim Covid-19 relief measure called the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.” This bipartisan agreement replenishes numerous CARES accounts that were exhausted, including: 

  • An additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans to impacted small businesses to encourage them to keep their employees on the payroll during the Covid-19 pandemic
    • $30 billion be set aside for loans to be made by lending institutions with assets not less than $10 billion and less than $50 billion
    • $30 billion will be set aside for community financial institutions, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and other lenders with less than $10 billion in assets
  • $60 billion to the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
    • $50 billion of those funds to be made available as direct loans and a further 
    • $10 billion assigned for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants, which offer applicants a forgivable advance of up to $10,000 within an expedited timeline
  • $75 billion for hospitals and 
  • $25 billion for Covid-19 testing

To learn more about the SBA programs that received additional funding click here

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