Rep. Susie Lee Applauds CARES Act’s Direct Payments to Nevadans, Bipartisan Passage in Congress

March 27, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) released the following statement applauding the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s inclusion of direct payments to Nevadans and its bipartisan passage through Congress:

“Our country is facing a public health crisis unlike any we’ve seen, and Americans are counting on Congress to come together to get families, workers, small businesses, and employers the relief they need to survive the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This comprehensive and bipartisan relief package will help fortify our health care system, expand unemployment benefits, and streamline aid for small businesses and employers with billions in grants and interest-free loans.

“To further help Nevadans who are struggling, I’m proud that the final package includes direct cash payments to ensure that families can afford the necessities to keep their households running. This package also directly helps state governments stabilize local economies and social programs, which is especially important in Nevada where the economic impact of the pandemic has hit our workers, families, first responders, and businesses especially hard.

“The bill also helps our local school systems and universities by providing $30.75 billion in grants for emergency support. With this support, schools will be able to continue to provide educational services to their students and support the on-going functionality of school districts and schools.

“This is by no means the end of Congress’s duty to protect the American people from this pandemic. We have to stay vigilant and proactive to get relief to every corner of the country, and make sure we’re putting the needs of families and frontline health care workers first.

“Relief and aid are incredibly important, but every American plays a role in this fight. Practice social distancing, practice good hygiene, and look out for your neighbors like they’re your family. The quicker we stop the spread and flatten the curve, the sooner we can return to life in Nevada that we all cherish so much. Together, we’ll make it through this.”

BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes:

Unemployment Insurance (UI)

  • Extended UI program increases max UI benefit by $600 per week and ensures that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months. Protects all workers whether they work for small, medium, or large businesses; are self-employed; or work in the gig economy.

Direct Assistance to State and Local Governments

  • Direct assistance to state and local governments were originally left out of the Republican Senate bill entirely. As a result of Democratic negotiations, state and local governments will now get $150 billion via Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Accountability Provisions

  • Accountability for how taxpayer money in the bill is handled.
    • Bans stock buybacks for any company receiving a government loan from the bill.
    • Creates oversight board to provide oversight and accountability of how taxpayer dollars are being used in this package.
    • Attaches worker protections to all federal loans for businesses and adds a retention tax credit for employers to encourage businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis.

Small Business Provisions

  • $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and non-profits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses, like rent, mortgage, and utilities.

Investments in Our Health Care System

  • Top line $150 billion investment in our healthcare system. This includes a new $100 billion fund that is widely available to all types of hospitals and providers most affected by COVID-19.

Direct Cash to Individual Americans

  • $1,200 for every American. $500 for any available child. The full payment is available for individuals making up to $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (married).  The value begins decreasing and then phases out completely for those making over the full payment income cap. 

Educational Benefits

  • Includes tax relief encouraging employers to implement student loan repayment programs. This provision will exclude up to $5,250 in qualifying student loan repayments paid by the employer on behalf of the employee from income for income tax purposes.

Emergency Appropriations Funds

  • $10 billion in grants to help our nation’s airports as the aviation sector grapples with the most steep and potentially sustained decline in air travel in history.
  • $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains, enabling industry to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies, and billions of dollars more for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase such equipment. 
  • $30.75 billion for grants to provide emergency support to local school systems and higher education institutions to continue to provide educational services to their students and support the on-going functionality of school districts and institutions.
  • More than $6.5 billion in Federal funding for CDBG, the Economic Development Administration, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help mitigate the local economic crisis and rebuild impacted industries such as tourism or manufacturing supply chains.

For public health and financial resources in Southern Nevada during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit susielee.house.gov.

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