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Rep. Garamendi Applauds Passage of Historic Families & Workers-First Coronavirus Legislation and the Emergency Relief it Sends to California

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Garamendi applauded the passage of the historic Families and Workers-First legislation, known as the CARES Act, which the President signed into law this evening.

“I am proud to support this historic piece of legislation, which will bring urgently needed relief to working Americans and small businesses across the country,” said Rep. Garamendi.  “During this time of stress and uncertainty, every American needs to know that their government is there to support them without hesitation.  This latest piece of legislation is an important step in our ongoing effort to act decisively on behalf of the American people and ensure workers and families have the resources they need today and throughout this unprecedented crisis.”

The legislation includes the following provisions to benefit Americans:

  • $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 weeks, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy (e.g. Uber and Lyft drivers) and self-employed workers. Worker can apply for unemployment insurance here.
  • 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. A fact sheet on direct payments can be viewed here.
  • 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. Answers to FAQ’s on the legislation’s resources for small businesses can be viewed here.
  • 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:
  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Child Care and Development Block Grant:  Supports childcare and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. 
  4. Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP):  Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.

“The American people need and deserve a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe from the coronavirus epidemic,” continued Rep. Garamendi.   “On behalf of the hard-working families of California and all Americans, I will continue to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work relentlessly and in a bipartisan way to put families and workers first and protect Americans’ health, safety and economic security.”

“My office is here to help. If my constituents have an urgent matter they would like to bring to my attention, they can call my district office at (530) 753-5301 or visit my Help with a Federal Agency web page. For policy-related recommendations, please feel free to contact my Washington office at (202) 225-1880 or visit my contact web page. My office will continually post updates on my website at and on my social media pages,” Garamendi concluded.

Answers to commons questions on the legislation’s provisions pertaining to small business can be viewed here.

Answers to common questions on direct cash payments can be viewed here.

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