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Dingell on Passage of Third Coronavirus Response Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) released the following statement after the House passed the third coronavirus response bill:

“Families and workers in Michigan are feeling deeply the direct impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. They, along with front-line healthcare workers, must be our immediate priority in our response. 

“Democrats put families and workers first and made great improvements to this package to mitigate the losses we have in our economy while providing emergency resources and supports to healthcare workers and those on the front lines. All of us in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, know how important this legislation is and it passed it with strong bipartisan support.

“The third relief wave increases unemployment benefits for the millions of workers who suddenly found themselves displaced, provides direct aid to healthcare institutions, boosts supplies of personal protective equipment and critical medical gear, and creates a large loan program for small businesses. We are at war with an invisible enemy, and we are working to strengthen the weapons we have in our arsenal.

“Through all of this we can’t forget our humanity. Distancing ourselves from each other is absolutely critical and we cannot let up, especially as Michigan is potentially weeks away from an apex. But we must reach out to each other in other ways, call, text, use technology to touch one another. Remaining in contact and checking in on each other is important and provides important support and comfort. Protecting our hardworking men and women – who are our greatest resource – and their families is critical. We will never be able to rebound from this unless we take action to protect the health and well-being of the American people.”

Here are just a few of the numerous initiatives in this historic piece of legislation that will benefit the residents of Michigan.

  • A $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund:  Creates a $150 billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated that our state of Michigan will receive approximately $3.873 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit our state’s residents.
  • $260 Billion in Dramatically Expanded Unemployment Benefits:  Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
  • Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans:  Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
  • More Than $375 Billion in Small Business Relief:  Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
  • Approximately $200 Billion for Our Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Health Research:  Provides an investment of about $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems, and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
  • More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations, Including the Following:
    • o Transit Agencies:  Provides $25 billion to transit agencies, which have all seen a drastic drop in revenues as social distancing has been implemented. This funding is to be used to protect the jobs of the employees of the transit agencies, funding their paychecks during this public health emergency. Our state of Michigan will receive an estimated $351 million under this program.
    • o HUD Emergency Solution Grants:  Provides $2 billion for HUD Emergency Solution Grants to states that will be distributed by formula. These grants are designed to address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Of this $2 billion, our state will receive nearly $74 million. In addition, the bill provides an additional $2 billion for these grants that will be allocated by HUD to the most hard-pressed areas.
    • o Child Care and Development Block Grant:  Supports child care and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.  Our state will receive over $100 million under this emergency appropriation.
    • o Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP):  Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills.  Our state will receive approximately $12 million for this purpose during this public health emergency.
    • o Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program:  Provides $850 million for this program, giving additional support to state and local law enforcement agencies, thereby allowing them, for example, to obtain the personal protective equipment and other medical items they may need during this public health emergency.  Our state will receive nearly $26 million under this appropriation. 
    • o CDC Coronavirus State, Local and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards:  Provides about $750 million in CDC State, Local, and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards to help agencies cope with the public health emergency.  The minimum award for our state is $16 million.  In addition, states can apply for additional funds above their minimum award, based on their needs.
    • o Election Assistance:  Provides $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections.  Coronavirus is already resulting in the postponement of some primaries and this funding can help states make voting safer for individuals.  Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting, and expand online registration.  Our state will receive more than $11 million for these purposes.
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