Case Lauds Quick House Passage of $2.2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill
Measure includes critical funds for Hawai‘i workers, families, businesses and health care providers
Washington, March 27, 2020
(Honolulu, HI) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) issued this statement today on U.S. House passage of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act:
"The House's expedited passage today of the CARES Act is a critical step forward in delivering critical assistance to the American people in this time of public health and economic crisis,” said Case.
“The CARES Act targets assistance to those who are in the most dire need today: our workers and their families, our small businesses and our health care providers.
"I'm especially supportive of its provisions to deliver massive aid to key Hawai‘i industries like travel and tourism conditioned on keeping worker jobs, boosting our strained unemployment benefits for those whose jobs have been lost, providing $377 billion in additional resources to our small businesses and delivering critical personal protective equipment to our front-line medical professionals.
"In the weeks ahead, the full resources of my office will remain focused on working with my federal, state, local and community colleagues to get all of this assistance to where it is needed as fast and comprehensively as possible.
"I ask anyone with questions on what is available or how to apply to go to my website, case.house.gov, at the COVID-19 tab for comprehensive information on CARES and Congress' two prior assistance measures, on the resources now available, and on COVID-19 overall.
"We are available to answer any questions at my District Office in Honolulu at ph. (808) 650-6688 or at this link: https://case.house.gov/contact/.
Highlights of the measure of special interest to Hawai‘i include:
· $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund: Creates a $150 billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. There is a guaranteed minimum payment of $1.25 billion to any state with a guaranteed share of that payment of 45% to municipalities with a population of 500,000 or more (Honolulu).
· $260 Billion in Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
· More Than $375 Billion in Small Business Relief: Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
· Approximately $200 Billion for Our Hospitals, Health Care Workers and Health Research: Provides an investment of about $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
· $25 billion for passenger air carriers: This will allow passenger airlines to continue paying employee wages, salaries and benefits. There is an additional $4 billion for cargo air carriers and up to $3 billion for airline contractors that will provide financial assistance for the exclusive use of employee wages, salaries and benefits.