House Passes Interim Coronavirus Relief Package Lowey Helped Democrats Transform

April 23, 2020
Press Release

Lowey: “Republicans refused to support state and local governments or expand food assistance for the vulnerable, and Democrats are determined to address this in the next package”

Because of House Democrats, legislation provides additional support for testing, hospitals, health care workers, and small businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, supported the House’s passage of an interim emergency coronavirus package, Congress’s fourth piece of legislation to respond to the pandemic. Congresswoman Lowey was integral in transforming this package to provide emergency resources for New York’s hospitals, health workers, and small businesses.

“Relief for New Yorkers is needed, and because of Congressional Democrats, this interim package provides critical funds for underserved small businesses, hospitals, and expanded testing to support the lives and livelihoods of the American people,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “However, Republicans refused to support state and local governments or expand food assistance for the vulnerable, and Democrats are determined to address this in the next package. As we move on to CARES Act 2, I will continue to fight for additional support for workers, families, businesses, and New York’s state and local governments.”

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provides real support to save lives and help Americans recover from the spread of COVID-19, including $25 billion for testing and $75 billion for resources to hospitals and health providers on the frontlines. This legislation also holds the President accountable by requiring the Trump Administration to submit to Congress a federal COVID-19 strategic testing plan.

Additionally, this legislation builds upon and improves the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program established in the CARES act by supplying an additional $310 billion, of which $60 billion is set aside for lenders with assets under $50 billion in order to better ensure access to local small businesses that operate on tight margins. In recognition of the great need to protect New York’s most vulnerable small businesses on Main Street, the legislation includes an additional $50 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) which will support upwards of $350 billion in EIDL to small businesses and eligible nonprofits, as well as an additional $10 billion for EIDL grants, which can be used for an advance of up to $10,000 on a disaster loan and do not need to be repaid.

The legislation follows the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on March 6.

House passage of the bill, which passed the Senate Tuesday, is expected to be quickly signed by the President.

The text of the bill, H.R. 622 – the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, is here. A fact sheet on the appropriations provisions of the bill, prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Appropriations Committee, is here.

 

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