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Following House passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congressman Anthony Brindisi released the following statement:
“We are in a crisis and we all need to work together to fight back. With the President’s signature, we will deliver money to working families and individuals, equipment to our frontline workers, loans and assistance to our small businesses, and critical funds for our towns, counties, and state. Now is not the time for politics, it is a time for action. I fought for millions for our communities and families and I will continue to fight to make sure we have everything we need to beat this epidemic.”
During negotiations, Brindisi advocated for Upstate New York priorities and delivered. Communities in New York’s 22nd district will receive millions of dollars in FEMA grants, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and Emergency Solutions Grants.
Earlier today, Brindisi announced crucial CDBG money and is announcing additional funds for NY-22. With the President’s signature, Brindisi will secure additional funds through the Emergency Solutions Grants. Utica and Binghamton will receive more than $2.6 million. These dollars will be used to ensure access to housing for the most vulnerable during the pandemic.
Thanks in part to Brindisi’s advocacy, this legislation will:
- Provide direct payments to Americans of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, expand unemployment insurance, and deliver additional relief for small businesses, including $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
- Ensure medical professionals and first responders have access to critical equipment with a $16 billion investment in the national stockpile of equipment like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies
- Exclude political riders like proposed plans to include the Green New Deal or corporate slush-funds
- Provide economic and relief for farmers, specifically dairy farmers, including a $9.5 billion in disaster funding for USDA to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus including targeted support for fruit and vegetable growers, dairy and livestock farmers, and a $14 billion increase to the Commodity Credit Corporation
- Prioritize relief for rural communities and ensures schools, communities, and rural areas have access to reliable broadband by investing millions
- $100 million ReConnect Pilot-The bill provides grants for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas
- $25 million for Distance Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program – The bill provides additional funding for the DLT grant program, which supports rural communities’ access to telecommunications-enabled information, audio, and video equipment, as well as related advanced technologies for students, teachers, and medical professionals.
- Aid our rural hospitals by providing $150 billion in relief to hospitals and medical centers
Brindisi’s work on the legislation received praise from local leaders.
Additionally, this legislation includes:
- Relief to Small Businesses: The bill appropriates $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and non-profits to maintain the existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities. It provides $10 billion in funding for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs. The legislation also delivers $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
- Direct Payments to Working-Class Americans: The legislation delivers $1,200 cash payments to working-class Americans, and an additional $500 cash payment is available per child. The full payment is available for individuals making up to $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (married). The value begins decreasing and then phases out completely for those making over the full payment income cap.
- Access to Broadband and Health Care Services in Rural America: The bill provides $100 million for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment that are necessary to provide broadband services in rural communities. It allows physicians and practitioners in rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified community health centers (FQHCs) to provide distant site telehealth visits to their patients under Medicare. The legislation also increases access to critical mental health services by appropriating $250 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.
- Enhanced Resources Available Under Defense Production Act: The legislation provides $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains, enabling industry to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies, and billions of dollars more for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase such equipment.
- $150 billion to state and local government stimulus program
- $260 billion unemployment insurance expansion program
- $150 billion for a new program to provide direct aid to health care institutions on the front line of this crisis to cover costs related to this pandemic
- $45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19. Reimbursable activities may include medical response, personal protective equipment, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, safety measures, and community services nationwide
- $400 million for FEMA grants, including :
- $100 million Assistance to Firefighter Grants to provide personal protective equipment, supplies, and reimbursements
- $100 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants which focus on emergency preparedness
- $200 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program which provides shelter, food, and supportive services through local service organizations
- More than $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. This funding will help low-income and working-class Americans avoid evictions and minimize any impacts caused by loss of employment, and child care, or other unforeseen circumstances related to COVID-19, and support additional assistance to prevent eviction and for people experiencing homelessness
- $20 billion to help our nation’s veterans, including to help treat COVID-19, purchase test kits, and procure personal protective equipment for clinicians and $590 million in dedicated funding to treat vulnerable veterans, including homeless veterans and those in VA-run nursing homes
- $850 million in Byrne-JAG grants for state and local law enforcement and jails to purchase personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and overtime
- $425 million to increase access to mental health services in communities
- $450 million of emergency food assistance through community partners, including food banks.
Earlier this month, Brindisi fought to secure more than $30 million for local counties. Additionally, he worked to pass legislation that secured emergency paid leave, small business assistance, and free coronavirus testing for all.
The legislation passed the House today and is headed to the President’s desk.