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COVID-19 Congressional Action

Congressional Action to Address COVID-19

1st Package: Immediate Funding for Public Health Agencies, Medical Supplies, Research and Development

$8 billion emergency spending bill for COVID-19 signed into law on March 6th

This package provides: 

  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, including $950 million to support state & local health agencies
  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics
  • Over $300 million to ensure access to affordable vaccines
  • $1 billion for medical supplies, health care preparedness, and medical surge capacity

2nd Package: Free tests, Paid Leave, Food Assistance

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18th by the President, provides new protections for workers and patients and resources for small businesses and states.

The Families First Act:

  • Ensures COVID-19 testing for everyone is FREE
  • Requires small and medium-sized companies (500 employees or less) and government employers to offer paid sick and family leave, and ensures that businesses are fully reimbursed for doing so
  • Invests in food assistance programs for seniors and for children and ensures that states have the flexibility to feed children while schools are out of session
  • Increases Medicaid funding to help states like Connecticut deliver quality health care
  • Provides a billion dollars for state Unemployment Insurance Agencies so they have the resources needed process new claims

3rd Package: Direct Payments, Expanded Unemployment Benefits, Small Business Relief

The third package, the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27th by the President, provides critical support to all Americans, small businesses and nonprofits.

The CARES Act:

  • Provides direct cash payments to lower- and middle-class Americans, for many of you this will be paid as direct deposit ($1,200 per adult, $500 per child)
  • Expands unemployment benefits to cover all workers, including the self-employed, gig-workers, and those who have reduced hours. It extends unemployment benefits by 13 weeks and increased weekly benefits by $600 per week for 4 months
  • Provides $350 billion in loans for small businesses affected by coronavirus, these loans may be forgiven if employers keep employees on the payroll
  • Creates a new tax credit for businesses to keep workers on payroll
  • Establishes a $100 billion fund for hospitals and health care providers so that they are able to treat patients with COVID-19 and at the same time protect our health care workers on the front lines
  • Provides $500 billion in industry aid, in form of loans, loan guarantees, and other financial transactions including $25 billion for airlines, $4 billion for cargo and $17 billion for businesses important to national security
  • Allocates $14.25 billion for Institutions of Higher Learning to invest in technology, provide support grants to students, and respond to the pandemic, as well as $13.5 billion for K-12 education
  • Provides critical resources for our first responders and the CT National Guard.