WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) voted to send the $484 billion interim emergency COVID-19 relief package to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Following the vote, Trahan also called on Congress and the Administration to prioritize health care workers, essential personnel, and the most vulnerable in our communities as negotiations continue on the next funding package.
“When the House passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, we knew that more would have to be done to get our nation through this crisis. The urgent need for additional funding for our small businesses, hospitals, and expanded testing required immediate passage of this bill. However, the American people still need more help. As we continue negotiations over the next relief package, we must prioritize assistance to our heroes fighting COVID-19 on the front lines – our state and local governments, emergency workers, and first responders – as well as our families who need relief to stay afloat during this difficult time. We will get through this crisis, but we must ensure that no one is left behind,” said Congresswoman Trahan.
Despite opposition from the Senate and White House to include additional funding for hospitals and increased testing, the House successfully included $100 billion for health facilities and testing and another $370 billion for small businesses. Specifically, the bill provided
- $75 billion in assistance for hospitals to cover coronavirus-related expenses and continue treating patients;
- $25 billion to dramatically expand Americans’ access to COVID-19 testing;
- $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, with $60 billion set aside to serve the most vulnerable and traditionally underserved small businesses on Main Street;
- And $60 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $10 billion of which will be used to replenish the EIDL’s grant program for small businesses.
As the House continues working on the next relief package, Trahan has called on negotiators to include robust funding to provide:
- Additional funding for hospitals, health care centers, and nursing homes to acquire PPE and other medical equipment necessary to protect their workers and patients;
- Significantly increased federal investment in the production and distribution of testing;
- Expanded access to health insurance for all those who need it, including full federal coverage of COBRA premiums for any worker who has been separated from work due to COVID-19;
- Additional support for working families, including extended unemployment benefits and additional direct cash payments;
- “Hazard pay” for essential workers, including grocery store workers, custodians, and others;
- Stronger food security for the most vulnerable in our communities by increasing the maximum SNAP benefits by 15 percent;
- And urgent aid to state and local governments providing emergency services to continue paying first responders on the front lines of this fight.