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Senate bill

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1Senate bill Empty Senate bill on 3/26/2020, 11:39 am



The Senate just passed the largest rescue bill in American history, and it’s going to help a lot of the people who are struggling right now.

I have done everything I could to build bipartisan consensus and get this done. That’s not easy up in Washington under the best of times. Mitch McConnell's draft bill that the Senate voted down Sunday would have left a lot of people in the cold. At times over the last 72 hours, negotiations were heated, with five of my colleagues out due to the virus and its impact, but I believe we were all looking out for the long-term best interests of our country, our families, and the economy. We know the Coronavirus presents a challenge like none we have seen in our lifetimes.

But we got there and passed with a big bipartisan majority – a bill that will do the following to help those in need:

$130 billion in funds for hospitals, almost double what Mitch McConnell was proposing a few days ago. This will help them make sure they have the supplies they need to protect our doctors and nurses who are on the front lines.

$150 billion in funds for states. Mitch McConnell had provided them with no direct aid despite the fact that they have been forced to spend millions of dollars to make up for the inadequate federal response.

Unemployment benefits that leave no one behind. Senate Democrats won concessions that will provide unprecedented protections for our workers including four full months of unemployment benefits including full salaries. Benefits are also extended to self-employed workers AND workers in the gig economy.

Direct cash payments to most Americans. If you make under $75,000, you will receive $1200. The amount will phase out for those making more.

Protection for renters and homeowners. The aid package includes protections that prevent evictions during the crisis.

Loans for small businesses affected by Coronavirus. Senate Democrats worked to add direct grants that will help small businesses avoid red tape and get the money they need right away.

We were also able to remove Mitch McConnell's “anonymous bailout” language. After stories about members profiting off of stock sales in the midst of this crisis, I thought it was important that we prohibit elected officials, including the President, from receiving loans under this package.
This is a good start to get Americans the help they need right now.

Now it’s up to the House to pass this bill so we can keep rebuilding. But this crisis will demand more of each of us. This bill didn’t do everything I wanted, and I believe we will have to do more - and as this virus unfolds across our country, I have no doubt we will be back to add to the protections and support this bill provides.

We have more than four times the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S than we did when this bill was introduced Thursday.

I know I keep quoting Smokey the Bear, but it’s really important to remember that while we are going to do everything we can in the Senate to ease the economic burden and keep you safe, YOU are the front lines of the fight against Coronavirus. But no vote in Washington is going to stop this virus. Only you can do that.

This is especially not the time to let up. I’m concerned that I am hearing talk of backsliding and even some of our public officials still underestimating the crisis we are in and the number of Americans that are at risk.

The experts keep saying that the only way we are going to drastically “flatten the curve” and reduce the number of critical cases is to continue social distancing. We all still have to do our part. The good news is that social distancing works. It’s up to you and every other American to do what the medical professionals are telling us.

We can and will beat this if we all do our part. We will make it through this together. The number of cases will continue to rise, but they will go down over time, and this will be over sooner if all of us do our part. I am doing everything I can to bring that day closer for all of us.

We are all in this together.

- Doug Jones

2Senate bill Empty Re: Senate bill on 3/26/2020, 11:55 am


Senate Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

March 25, 2020 8:21 AM ET

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

"The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Coronavirus In The U.S.
Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Coronavirus In The U.S.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

As of Wednesday evening, there were 65,000 diagnosed cases of the highly contagious virus in the U.S. and more than 900 deaths.

"The legislation now before us is historic because it is meant to match a historic crisis," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The plan marks the largest rescue package in American history. The legislation covers an array of programs, including direct payments to Americans, an aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to large and small businesses, and a new wave of significant funding for the health care industry.

READ: $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill
READ: $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill

The agreement is an expansion of a Republican legislative proposal issued last week, dubbed the CARES Act — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — to provide relief to virtually every rung of the U.S. economic ladder.

Among the deal's key provisions:

The plan will rush financial assistance to Americans with direct checks to households in the middle class and in lower income levels, McConnell said. Previously, Republicans said this would amount to $1,200 to most American adults, among other payments.

An extended unemployment insurance program for laid-off workers that will allow for four months of "full pay," according to Schumer, rather than the usual three months for most. It will also raise the maximum unemployment insurance benefit by $600 per week. It will apply to traditional workers for small and large businesses as well as those who are self-employed and workers in the gig economy. This was a key Democratic initiative, which Schumer dubbed "unemployment insurance on steroids."

More than $150 billion for the health care system, including funding for hospitals, research, treatment and the Strategic National Stockpile to raise supplies of ventilators, masks and other equipment. Of that, $100 billion will go to hospitals and the health system and $1 billion to the Indian Health Service.

$150 billion to state and local governments to address spending shortages related to the coronavirus pandemic.

$350 billion in the form of loans for small businesses impacted by the pandemic; some of those loans could be forgiven.

The House will take up the measure on Friday, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). To protect members from the risks of exposure, the House will hold a voice vote on the bill..."

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