WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted for bipartisan economic stimulus legislation that unanimously passed the Senate tonight.
“We face a public health crisis that threatens our economy and this bipartisan response from the Senate supports families, workers, small businesses, hospitals, and our public health care system,” said Senator Baldwin. “This is another strong step forward by Congress responding to the challenges we face in Wisconsin. We are all in this together, so we need to continue working together across party lines to take additional steps to get through this public health crisis, stabilize our economy, and help it move forward.”
The bipartisan economic stimulus legislation includes the following:
Direct Financial Aid to American Families
· Provides direct payments of $1,200 to working adults and $500 to children. The full payment is available for individuals making up to $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (married).
Expansion of Unemployment Insurance for Laid off Workers
· Strengthens the unemployment insurance system with $260 billion in funding by expanding eligibility to cover more workers and increasing the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week for every American, which helps provide most workers with their full paycheck. This support is extended for four months instead of three and ensures that all workers are protected whether they work for businesses small, medium or large, along with self-employed and workers in the gig economy.
Direct Support to Rescue Small Businesses
· $377 billion to support small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation will help provide small businesses the resources they need to keep moving forward, and keep their workers on the payroll.
· $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.
· $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
· $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans, and six months of loan forbearance for all small businesses.
A $150 Billion Marshall Plan for our Health Care System
· Financial support for hospitals and our health system, including critical investments such as personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and testing supplies.
· $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile supplies of pharmaceuticals, PPE, and other medical supplies, which are distributed to state and local health agencies, hospitals and other health care entities facing shortages during emergencies.
· $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains, enabling industry to quickly ramp up production of PPE, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies, and billions of dollars more for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase such equipment.
· Increased funding for workforce and training, new construction to house patients, and emergency operation centers.
· Medicare payment increases to all hospitals and providers to ensure that they receive the funding they need during this crisis.
More Federal Support for States and Schools
· $150 billion to assist states, tribes, and local governments to help them pay for new expenses related to COVID-19 response.
· $45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, more than doubling the available funding, to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as private non-profits performing critical and essential services, to protect citizens and help them recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19. Reimbursable activities may include medical response, PPE, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, safety measures, and community services nationwide.
· $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.
· $5 billion in federal funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to help states and local governments rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks and senior services.
· $4.3 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including for the purchase of PPE; laboratory testing to detect positive cases; infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and other public health preparedness and response activities.
· $3.5 billion in additional funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus.
· More than $1.5 billion in federal funding for 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.
Strong Worker Protections, Transparency and Oversight on Government Loans
· Big corporations receiving government loans are prohibited from engaging in stock buybacks that largely benefit executives and wealthy shareholders, for the length of any loan provided by the Treasury plus one year.
· Restrictions on any increases to executive compensation and collective bargaining agreements are protected.
· Prohibition on businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments getting loans or investments from Treasury programs.
· Real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations.
· Creation of Treasury Department Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of Treasury loans and investments; a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars; and a Congressional Oversight Commission to enhance legislative oversight of pandemic response.
An online version of this release is available here.