Rep Hayes On House Passage Of Third Coronavirus Pandemic Response Legislation

March 27, 2020
Press Release
 

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed by voice vote H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third major piece of legislation passed by Congress to respond to the public health crisis in recent weeks. The Senate passed this legislation Thursday morning, and the President is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as possible.

“Connecticut has been hit particularly hard by this virus, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases to date. Nonessential businesses in my state have been shuttered, crippling our local economy, squeezing small businesses, and causing painful layoffs,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “Our hospitals, frontline health workers, and first responders are overwhelmed working without enough resources, personal protective equipment, and tests to combat the rapid spread of this unrelenting disease.


“There is no more time to waste. Congress must act now to combat this virus and get the states and the American people the support and resources they need. I applaud House leadership for their hard work on this bill and for getting a deal for the American people. I was indeed frustrated that big business seemingly stepped to the front of the line in earlier proposals, but I commend my colleagues for pushing back against toxic provisions that would bail out those corporations, no strings attached, without providing the requisite support to hospitals and everyday Americans.

“This bill is not perfect, and does not include everything I advocated for, but it does include critical funding that will save lives and help my constituents in Connecticut’s 5th District recover from the economic fallout of this public health crisis. While this third relief package is a monumental step forward, more work needs to be done to respond to this public health and economic emergency. When future legislation is being discussed, I hope to include more relief for volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel, who are the first responders in the many of the communities in my district. Their work is so vitally important, now more than ever, and we must ensure they have the proper equipment and protections in place to do their jobs. I hope more funding will be made available for rural health providers in the Northwestern Corner of Connecticut. We must help the Postal Service and its employees, which have been hit hard by the effects of the virus. I want to see more support for teachers as they adapt to a new reality of distance learning, and more relief for student loan borrowers. 

 

“The impact that this virus is having on my district, Connecticut, and our nation, cannot be understated, and we must do everything to help Americans overcome the challenges we are facing. Now is the time for unity, cooperation and immediate action. For these reasons I support this bill and look forward to it being signed into law.”

 

The CARES Act will immediately send relief to hardworking lower and middle-income individuals and families, provide billions of small business relief, and help keep Americans safe. Specifically, the bill includes:

 

  • $200 billion for our health care system and health care research, including direct support for hospitals and Community Health Centers, working on the ground against the disease;
  • Over $20 billion to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Women and Infants and Children (WIC), senior meals, and other nutrition programs to help prevent families from going hungry during financial hardship;
  • Direct cash payments of up to $1200 per adult and $500 per child that will immediately go out to Americans to help cover the cost of rent or loan payments;
  • Over $375 billion in funding for small businesses and nonprofits to help the employers pay their workers and help lifeblood of our Connecticut economy rebound;
  • $260 billion in dramatically expanded unemployment benefits to help those from Harwinton to Danbury land on their feet after the crisis, 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 and self-employed workers;
  • $150 billion in grants for states and local municipalities – which will bring home $1.382 billion for Connecticut to help fight the spread of the virus;
  • Finally, it provides over $35 billion for early childhood education programs, K-12 schools and higher education institutions in response to the severe disruptions caused by the pandemic – including funds that will help students and teachers with distance learning.

 

The text of the bill can be found here. A summary of the bill can be found here.

 

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Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public-school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.

 

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