Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon

What the Coronavirus Stimulus Package Means For You

March 27, 2020
Blog Post

Coronavirus Update March 27, 2020

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It has been another week dominated by the Coronavirus.  And we have started to feel it more and more right here in Alabama.  On Wednesday, we had the state’s first death related to the virus.  As more testing is done, the numbers of those infected will likely continue to go up.  But, as we continue to practice social distancing and frequent handwashing, I’m hopeful in the coming weeks we will start to see those numbers peak and begin to come down.

 

President Trump has negotiated, and Congress has now approved, a deal that will provide immediate relief to families, small businesses, local communities, health care services, broadband networks, the agriculture industry, veterans, and so many others. This funding is crucial for our district, the entire State of Alabama, and the rest of the country. Congress and agencies will soon provide greater details about specifics on how many of these proposals will be implemented, but I want to highlight some of the provisions in the Phase 3 stimulus that will have an immediate and direct impact on our community:

Families

  • Families and individuals are going to receive immediate financial assistance, broken down by income:  
    • The full credit amount ($1,200 individuals, $2,400 couples, $500 for children) is available for individuals with income at or below $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household), and couples with income at or below $150,000. And if you have children, you will receive an additional $500 per child
  • $3.5 billion for childcare services
  • $900 million for Low Income Home and Energy Assistance Program

Small Businesses

  • $1.5 billion for Economic Adjustment Assistance, which will provide small businesses with capital
  • $562 million for the Small Business Administration to administer economic injury disaster loans
  • $50 million to help small and medium-sized manufacturers recover
  • 501©3 non-profits are eligible for 7(a) loans
  • Small businesses can hire back previously laid-off employees and still have those loans forgiven
  • Employee Retention Credit will provide a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50% of up to $10,000 in wages per employee paid by employers
  • Employers with 100 or fewer employees – all wages qualify for the credit no matter what

Community

  • Churches that are registered as 501(c)3 are eligible to receive funds
  • $36.1 billion for the Department of Transportation to keep airports, transit systems, and passenger rail safe and operational.  
  • $31 billion for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities
  • $15.8 billion for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • $8.8 billion for Child Nutrition
  • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grants
  • $4 billion for Homelessness Grants
  • $1.5 billion for Economic Assistance Development Grants
  • $100 million for Emergency Management Program Grants

Hospitals/Healthcare services/Responders

  • $100 billion for rural hospitals and other health care providers
  • $1.5 billion for CDC Funding for State Public Health Departments
  • $1.1 billion for grants to emergency managers, firefighters, and state and local law enforcement
  • $425 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • $200 million for Emergency Food and Shelter Grants

Broadband

As you may recall, I sent a letter to President Trump last week asking that funds be included in this stimulus to address rural broadband.  I’m excited and appreciative that money will allocated in every category I requested.

  • $340 million for rural broadband:
    • $200 million for FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program
    • $100 million to provide financing for rural broadband through the ReConnect program
    • $25 million for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine programs
    • $15 million for Rural Telehealth Programs LHHS & HRSA

Agriculture

  • $14 billion replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation
  • $9.5 billion for farmers and ranchers affected by COVID-19

Veterans

  • $19.6 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to be used for the following:
    • $14.4 to expand in-patient care and purchase test kits
    • $2.15 billion to expand telehealth
    • $2.1 billion for veterans receiving care for Coronavirus from community providers
    • $606 million for the VA to expand bed space and prepare temporary facilities
    • $150 million for state veteran homes to help them serve more patients
    • $2.8 million to support Armed Forces Retirement Homes

 

It’s important that Congress continues to provide relief where it’s needed, and I will continue to fight for our district.  It’s my hope that we can begin to think about sending people back to work in the coming weeks, rather than months from now. Before that happens, we must ensure there are plenty of quick, easily accessible test and lots of protective gear available. I don’t have an exact timeline in mind, but we need to start planning for the time when this virus is, for the most part, behind us.