Congressman Sires Votes to Support Workers and Families and Supply Emergency Relief
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires went to the House Floor in Washington, D.C. to help overcome a procedural roadblock and pass the CARES Act, which will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“This legislation will help provide immediate relief to those who are struggling under the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Rep. Sires. “I’m happy that Congress could come together to pass legislation that puts small businesses, people who have lost their jobs, families, and health care workers first. They need our help as we face a growing and unprecedented crisis.”
The legislation includes economic relief for companies and workers who have been hard hit, funding for states and localities to respond to the needs of their communities, and assistance for hospitals and health care workers who are at the front lines of the response. Some of the numerous initiatives that were included are:
- $150 billion for State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund: The Fund will help states fund their response efforts to the virus. New Jersey is estimated to receive more than $3.4 billion in direct aid from the Fund.
- Expanded Unemployment Benefits: The federal government will provide an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits for the next four months and expand eligibility to include people who are self-employed or work in the gig economy.
- Direct Payments to Low and Middle-Income Americans: One-time direct cash payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child were included in the legislation. This benefit will start to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for a household. By doing so, we are ensuring that those most at need receive the most assistance.
- Funding for Hospitals and Health Care Workers: It includes approximately $200 billion invest in hospitals, health systems, and health research. This money will go towards expanding the supply of personal protective equipment that health care workers so desperately need along with ventilators that patients rely on.
- Support for Small Businesses: The legislation provides more than $375 billion in small business relief including funding for forgivable loans so that small business can pay employees and keep them on the payrolls along with funds for debt relief and immediate disaster grants.
“This legislation lays the foundation for our comprehensive response to protect Americans from the physical and economical costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to respond to the immediate and future problems that we will encounter as a result of this outbreak.”