WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined his colleagues on both sides of the aisle on the House floor to support the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a bipartisan bill that provides critical relief for families, small businesses, and medical professionals impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“While this package was not perfect, I was glad that members from both sides of the aisle came together to provide historic, bipartisan relief for those struggling to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Joyce. “The CARES Act supports our medical professionals and their patients, brings relief to small businesses and workers, gives financial assistance to Americans in need, and stabilizes the economy. Congress must continue to work across party lines to provide Americans across the country with the resources necessary to tackle the health and economic challenges ahead.”
Importantly, the CARES Act includes over $100 billion for hospitals and health systems, which Joyce personally urged House and Senate Leadership to include in the legislation. This funding will be used to help medical professionals get the supplies they so desperately need like gloves, additional beds, face masks, and gowns, as well as live-saving equipment like ventilators and respirators.
“The full effects of this crisis have yet to be felt, but already hospitals and health care systems across the country are facing staffing challenges, an ever-increasing demand for testing, an influx of critically ill patients and a dwindling supply of medical equipment needed to care for these patients,” Joyce said. “As the husband of a nurse, I was proud to fight to ensure this bill included the funding necessary to support all of our unsung medical heroes on the front lines of this outbreak.”
The bill also created the new Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses and nonprofits hit hard by the outbreak. Businesses and 501(c)(3)s with less than 500 employees will be eligible for this new program which will provide a 4% interest rate loan that is 100% guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans can be used for payroll costs, group health care benefits, employee salaries, interest on any mortgage obligation, rent, utilities, and any other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020. The maximum amount small businesses can borrow through the Paycheck Protection Program is the lesser of $10 million or 2.5 times their average monthly payroll based on last year’s payroll. The SBA has authorized lenders to process, close and service loans without SBA approval, giving Ohioans the means to invest in their business immediately.
“Having grown up my entire life in Northeast Ohio, I know full well that small businesses are the lifeline of the Buckeye State’s economy,” said Joyce. “In fact, as of 2018, over 99% of all Ohio businesses were small businesses, and they employed 2.2 million Ohioans. However, the COVID-19 outbreak is taking a heavy toll on these businesses, those who own them and the workers they employ. I was proud to support the CARES Act so that we could provide these businesses with the support they need to get through this difficult time.”
Other vital resources provided by the bipartisan package include but are not limited to:
Refundable tax credits for low- and middle-income families, as much as $1,200 per individual or $2,400 for couples who file joint tax returns with an additional $500 provided for each child.
$16 billion to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical supplies for federal and state response efforts.
$272 billion provided directly to state and local governments, supporting their frontline efforts to respond to the virus.
$450 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program to assist food banks across the country.
Temporarily expanded unemployment insurance to provide a lifeline for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the outbreak.
$100 million for the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program which can be used to provide firefighters with personal protective equipment while they continue to serve their communities during the outbreak.
Authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand mental health services delivered via telehealth and to enter into short-term agreements with telecommunication companies to provide veterans with temporary broadband services.
Nearly $20 billion to help our nation’s veterans, including to help treat COVID-19, purchase test kits, and procure personal protective equipment for clinicians, and $590 million in dedicated funding to treat vulnerable veterans, including homeless veterans and those in VA-run nursing homes.