Press Releases

Congressman Don Young Helps the House Pass Emergency COVID-19 Relief Package

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Washington, March 27, 2020 | comments

For video of Congressman Young’s remarks on the CARES Act, click here.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young was on the House Floor for the quorum call and the subsequent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – emergency stimulus legislation to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and provide needed relief to families suffering from its widespread economic impacts.

"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact families across our country, not only in terms of their physical wellbeing, but also their financial health. Countless families in Alaska have been forced to stay home or laid off, but the bills continue piling up. Today, I went to the House Floor and was present for the quorum call as we passed the CARES ACT. The legislation passed out of the House today is crucially needed, and will help our nation's most vulnerable make ends meet," said Congressman Don Young. "Too many families have found themselves suffering from unemployment or underemployment through no fault of their own. Today's bill takes necessary steps to support Americans through this challenging time. Individuals and families will receive direct cash payments; grants and loans will be available to help our small businesses meet payroll and rent; unemployment insurance will be temporarily expanded, and distressed industries that employ thousands of Americans will receive support. The CARES Act also provides needed support for our Native communities by providing funding to help health care providers, schools, and communities mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Alaska has not been left untouched by COVID-19, and tragically, the virus has already proven fatal to one of our state's residents. Although today's bill is a significant step forward, it must not be the end of our efforts in the fight against COVID-19. I will continue engaging with House Leadership on both sides of the aisle to ensure our federal response to this pandemic is streamlined and effective. We must also continue working in support of those who are on the frontlines, risking their own health to keep us safe: our health care workers, first responders, and those working to keep food and supplies available to Alaskans, such as grocery store employees and truck drivers. These remarkable Americans are the true heroes in this crisis, and they remain in my prayers every day. In the meantime, I very strongly urge you to follow the CDC’s recommendations. Avoid large groups and continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene protocols. It is also very important that you follow all state and local directives regarding business operations and gatherings, and observe a 14-day quarantine if you have traveled out of state. Alaskans are resilient. Like other challenges we have faced as a state and country, we will survive and come through this stronger. If Alaskans have any questions about how today’s legislation may impact their finances, their families, or their businesses, my office stands ready to do all that we can to assist.”

Key Provisions:

Income for American Families

  • One-time tax rebate check.
  • $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per eligible child.
  • Reduced for higher income earners, starting at $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples.
  • Phases out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples.
  • Expanded unemployment insurance to cover part-time, self-employed and gig workers, and non-profit employees.

Small Business Assistance

  • New Small Business Administration-backed loan program to help small businesses pay for expenses.
  • Loans taken by small businesses to keep employees on payroll may be forgiven.
  • 501(c)(3)s will also be eligible for this program.
  • Federal government will forgive 8 weeks of cash flow, rent and utilities at 100% up to 2.5x average monthly payroll.

Assistance to Distressed Job Creators

  • Loans, loan guarantees, and investment authority totaling $529 billion, with $454 billion to be used by the Treasury, working with the Federal Reserve, for all sectors and $75 billion in loans, guarantees and grants for passenger airlines, cargo carriers, and businesses critical to national security.
  • $10 billion for airports to continue the health and safety of their operations.
  • $56 million in supplemental appropriations for the Essential Air Service program.

Ensuring Access to Care for All Americans

  • $100 billion to ensure hospitals and health care providers continue to receive the support they need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue.
  • $16 billion to procure personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other medical supplies for federal and state response efforts.
  • $80 million to the FDA to support the development of necessary medical countermeasures and vaccines, advance domestic manufacturing for medical products, and monitor medical product supply chains.
  • $3.5 billion in grants to states for immediate assistance to childcare providers to prevent them from going out of business and to support childcare for families, including for health care workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis.
  • $45 million of additional support for family violence shelters, and $2 million in additional support for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • $100 million in emergency response grants to address mental health, substance use disorders, and provide resources and support to youth and the homeless during the pandemic.
  • $955 million for aging and disability services programs, including senior nutrition; home and community-based supportive services; family caregivers; elder justice; and independent living.
  • $1.32 billion in additional funding for Community Health Centers.

Support for our Native Communities

  • $8 billion in the Tribal Stabilization Fund to provide emergency relief to tribal governments.
  • Ensures that tribes and tribally-owned businesses are eligible for Small Business Administration loan funds.
  • $1.032 billion for Indian Health Service (IHS) for coronavirus response efforts, including treatment and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Native communities.
  • $100 million for USDA food distribution in Native communities.
  • $305 million for Native Housing Programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Assistance for Fisheries

  • The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to provide assistance to tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants affected by COVID-19 which includes direct relief payments.
  • Fishery participants who have economic losses greater than 35% as compared to the prior 5-year average revenue or have had “any negative impacts” to subsistence, cultural or ceremonial fisheries.
  • Funds can be given on a rolling basis and within a fishing season to ensure rapid delivery of funds.
  • $300,000,000 in direct financial assistance is available until September 30, 2021 for fisheries.

VA

  • Provides $14 billion for VA medical services.
  • Authorizes the VA to enter into short-term contracts with telecom companies to provide broadband services to support mental health services for isolated veterans through telehealth.

Defense

  • Over $1.2 billion will be available for the National Guard to assist with COVID-19 response.
  • $3.81 billion for the Defense Health Program to respond to COVID-19.

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