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Rep. Adams Comments on the Bipartisan Passage of the CARES Act

Mar 27, 2020
Press Release
“Silver lining on one of the most challenging weeks in our lifetimes”

March 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) released the following statement on the bipartisan passage of the $2 trillion economic aid passage to combat the coronavirus pandemic, also known as the CARES Act, which will now go to the President’s desk for his signature:

“The passage of the CARES Act is a silver lining on one of the most challenging weeks in our lifetimes,” said Congresswoman Adams. “This legislation will bring urgently needed relief to workers, families and small businesses across North Carolina. It includes direct cash relief to workers and children, and $260 billion in dramatically expanded unemployment benefits. However, the times are too sobering to celebrate this historic act, because there is still so much work to do. As Speaker Pelosi said today, we must advance a fourth bill to address continued needs.”

“It’s clear that the scope and impact of this pandemic is far greater than we could have imagined,” continued Adams. “So today, we took another step towards giving Americans a helping hand and some needed relief from an emergency that has changed life as we know it. I support this legislation because it reflects a bipartisan compromise that will allow our public schools to pay their faculty and staff, and feed their students. I support it because it will put money directly into the pockets of working Americans who need assistance to make it through the next few weeks. I support it because it provides billions in assistance to our small businesses as they look to make payroll and keep their workers – our Charlotte Mecklenburg neighbors – employed.”

Here are just a few of the numerous initiatives in this historic piece of legislation that will benefit the residents of North Carolina:

  • A $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. North Carolina will receive an estimated $4.067 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit our state’s residents.
  • $260 Billion in Dramatically 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.
  • Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans: Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
  • 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.
  • More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations, Including the Following:
    • Transit Agencies:  Provides $25 billion to transit agencies, which have all seen a drastic drop in revenues as social distancing has been implemented. This funding is to be used to protect the jobs of the employees of the transit agencies, funding their paychecks during this public health emergency. North Carolina will receive $312.6 million under this program.
    • HUD Emergency Solution Grants: Provides $2 billion for HUD Emergency Solution Grants to states that will be distributed by formula. These grants are designed to address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Of this $2 billion, North Carolina will receive $47.4 million. In addition, the bill provides an additional $2 billion for these grants that will be allocated by HUD to the most hard-pressed areas.
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant: Supports child care and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. NC will receive $117.3 million under this emergency appropriation.
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. North Carolina will receive $50.9 million for this purpose during this public health emergency.
    • Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program: Provides $850 million for this program, giving additional support to state and local law enforcement agencies, thereby allowing them, for example, to obtain the personal protective equipment and other medical items they may need during this public health emergency. NC will receive $24.3 million under this appropriation.
    • CDC Coronavirus State, Local and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards:  Provides about $750 million in CDC State, Local, and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards to help agencies cope with the public health emergency. The minimum award for our state is $15.4 million. In addition, states can apply for additional funds above their minimum award, based on their needs.
    • Election Assistance:  Provides $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections.  Coronavirus is already resulting in the postponement of some primaries and this funding can help states make voting safer for individuals.  Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting, and expand online registration. North Carolina will receive $10.9 million so that nothing – not even the coronavirus – interrupts the Democratic process.
    • HBCUs and MSIs: Provides $1.05 Billion dollars in emergency assistance for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions, including $447 million specifically for HBCUs.

“North Carolinians deserve a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe from the coronavirus epidemic,” concluded Rep. Adams.  “That is why I applaud the leadership of Governor Roy Cooper, and why I called on the North Carolina General Assembly to act quickly and decisively to help North Carolina workers, families and small businesses. On behalf of the hard-working families of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, I will continue to join House Democrats to work relentlessly and in a bipartisan way to put Families and Workers First and protect Americans’ health, safety and economic security.”

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