WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Thursday voted in favor of the third coronavirus relief package, legislation that includes $2 trillion in new spending to aid the American people, hospitals and medical staff, small businesses, and first responders:
“Connecticut has never seen a crisis like this one. The only path forward is to take steps necessary to dramatically reduce the number of people who are infected - this is a public health crisis and we need to treat it that way. But the health crisis has now created an economic crisis, and I'm glad that Congress stepped up and passed a record breaking economic relief package that will get immeidate help to millions of families and businesses across the country," said Murphy
Murphy continued: "The first version of this bill, introduced by Senate Republican leader McConnell, was a bailout for corporations with not enough focus on actually addressing health care crisis. The bill we passed, after days of important negotiations, gets enough money to hospitals and states, including over $1 billion straight into Connecticut's general fund, to make sure we keep up the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The cash payments to families, which I fought for, and the beefed up unemployment insurance, will help a lot of famillies balance their books while they are out of work temporarily. And I'm glad that the small business assistance program includes both both grants and forgivable loans, and includes parts of my Main Street Emergency Grant proposal."
The bipartisan bill includes:
- Direct cash payments for low and middle-income families - $1,200 per person and $500 per child.
- $150 billion for hospitals and health systems to fight the virus.
- $260 billion for increased unemployment insurance that waives waiting periods and covers part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers.
- $377 billion to rescue small businesses, including forgivable loans to small businesses and non-profits to maintain their workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities.
- $150 billion to assist States, Tribes, and local governments with new expenses related to COVID-19 response.
- $30.75 billion to school districts and colleges to maintain operations, transition and expand access to distance learning, and cover lost revenue and costs due to closures.
- $3.5 billion to support child care centers and provide child care for first responders and health care workers
- Strong requirements for industries receiving bailout money including no stock buybacks or dividends, restrictions on increases to executive compensation and a prohibition of funds for any businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments
Last week, Murphy laid out what he wanted to see in future coronavirus relief efforts. He also introduced the Main Street Emergency Grant Program, which would provide much-needed liquidity for small and medium businesses during the economic crisis caused by COVID-19; and the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, legislation to force President Trump to implement the Defense Production Act of 1950 and federalize the manufacturing and distribution of scarce in-demand medical supplies in order to cure the growing inefficiencies of 50 states and thousands of hospitals competing against each other for medical supplies.