WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today the House passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Idaho Congressmen Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson supported the legislation which is needed to stabilize the economy and repair the portion that has been shut down by the government. The legislation includes direct payments to Americans, financial assistance for small businesses, funding for hospitals and providers who are on the front lines of battling the virus, and expanded unemployment benefits as jobless claims continue to rise.
“The United States of America is at war with an invisible foe-- Coronavirus. Having a virus is not a new precedent for America. It has happened twice in the 20th century; the Spanish Flu and Polio. But in an attempt to slow this outbreak, we did set a new precedent,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “For the first time in history, we mandated the economy shut down by law, and we know the cost - it’s about $2 trillion dollars. So we must ask, what is the cost of not acting? It’s agonizing to take on this debt, but here’s a game changer for me: when the government shut down the economy, it assumed the responsibility for bringing it back. This virus may threaten our health, but 98% or more will survive that, and we will not allow the virus to take away our livelihoods.”
Congressman Fulcher’s complete speech on the House floor this morning can be viewed here.
“These are truly unprecedented times, and that calls for extraordinary measures for our country to rise to the occasion,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “The legislation passed by the House is a necessary step towards stabilizing our economy, providing resources for health providers on the front lines, and furthers access to patients who have been stricken by the virus. This will not be the last package Congress considers, but it is a meaningful step for workers and businesses who have already been severely impacted. I thank President Trump and his Administration for their work on crafting this legislation, and I also applaud Idaho Senator Mike Crapo who played a key role in negotiating the package. We are truly all in this together and I am thankful to Idaho Senator Jim Risch who is looking out for agriculture in our state, and Governor Brad Little as he continues to show leadership in combatting coronavirus across Idaho. I also thank Congressman Fulcher for his daily collaboration to ensure Idahoans voices and needs are heard at this crucial time.”
Specifically, the legislation includes:
- A one-time direct payment of up to $1,200 for individuals (making up to $75,000) $2,400 for married couples (making up to $150,000) and $500 per child.
- Expansion of Small Business Administration loans and loan guarantees to help small businesses pay for employees and other expenses, including 501(c)(3)s.
- Temporarily increased unemployment benefits.
- Temporarily increased Medicare reimbursements to help our most vulnerable populations.
- Increased access to test kits.
- Expedited approval for FDA to approve new medications and treatments.
- $100 billion to help hospitals and other health care providers on the front lines of fighting the disease.