TUCSON— Today, the House of Representatives passed the CARES Act to address the needs of communities across the country impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The bill provides funding for hospitals and community health centers, frontline health providers, schools and universities, creates a coronavirus relief fund for states and local governments, and provides relief to struggling families and small businesses.
“There is an economic cost to saving lives, and Congress took the necessary steps to help small businesses, workers, and their families during this unprecedented time of hardship,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “While this bill is far from perfect, it was only through the hard work of Democrats that it prioritized working people and their children over giant corporations and the wealthy. Despite its flaws, it is an important first step towards getting Arizonans the assistance they need to pay their bills and keep their businesses afloat while ensuring our hospitals and community health centers have the funding they need to provide care to their communities and keep frontline healthcare workers safe.”
The bill includes numerous provisions to help Arizona, including:
- A $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund: Arizona will receive $2.8 billion in additional resources to combat COVID-19 and address its impacts on state residents.
- $260 Billion in Expanded Unemployment Benefits: The bill expands unemployment benefits by providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expands eligibility to include workers who are self-employed and work in the in “gig economy.”
- Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Millions of Americans: Lower and middle-income Americans will receive $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child that begin to phase out at $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household.
- $375 Billion in Small Business Relief: This includes $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses that continue to keep their employees on the payroll, $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers, and an additional $10 billion in disaster grants.
- $200 Billion for hospitals, health workers, and health research: Expands funding for much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, and gloves.
- $1 Billion for the Indian Health Service
- CDC Coronavirus State, Local, and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards: Arizona will receive approximately $12 million to help agencies cope with the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program: Arizona will receive $19.3 million for state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase PPE to keep their workforce safe.
- Child Care and Development Block Grant: Arizona will receive $87.3 million to support childcare and early education.
- Transit Agency Funds: Arizona will receive $311.9 million to protect the jobs of transit employees and fund their paychecks after transit agencies have seen a massive drop in revenues due to social distancing guidelines.
- HUD Emergency Solution Grants: Arizona will receive $33.5 million to address homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance.
“The economic and human impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are far from over,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “Guaranteeing a full economic recovery will be a priority for Congress. I look forward to working with my colleagues to use all of the tools at our disposal to ensure that our health infrastructure is made whole and better prepared for future pandemics, workers are prioritized in any future relief efforts, small businesses receives they assistance they need to thrive, and that all families–regardless of immigration status and many of whom are at the forefront of this crisis—are given the resources they need to fully recover from this crisis.”
Rep. Grijalva’s office has created an online resource center that is updated daily with the latest local and state resources and frequently asked questions concerning federal legislation and federal agency operations.