Following aggressive actions by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to stand up for American workers and families instead of big corporations, the Senate passed the third coronavirus emergency package to support Americans, health care providers, and small businesses. Throughout days of negotiations, Gillibrand urged Congress to support New Yorkers with legislation to bolster our health care system, strengthen small businesses, and protect our most vulnerable communities. In the CARES Act, Democrats were able to pass an economic package that will stabilize and protect the health care system and workers, provide expanded unemployment insurance, and support small businesses.
“The CARES Act is a critical step, but there’s more to be done. I’m proud it will quickly provide essential resources to New York’s health care system, workers, and families facing financial strain due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Senator Gillibrand. “My colleagues and I fought hard to support our health care and education systems, bolster small businesses, and provide relief to the millions of Americans worried about making ends meet. The bill also provides crucial oversight of corporate loans, ensuring that funds are distributed responsibly fairly, and makes sure workers are protected. In the months ahead, I will continue working to deliver resources to help our country overcome this immense challenge.”
Senator Gillibrand fought for the following priorities for New Yorkers in the CARES Act:
- $100 billion to rescue hospital systems and assist in treatment and testing for COVID-19. Senator Gillibrand formally requested emergency funding for hospital systems, hospital assistance to treat and test for COVID-19, and a delay of the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment cuts.
- $45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; as well as private non-profits performing critical and essential services to protect citizens and help them recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19. Senators Gillibrand and Schumer pushed the Trump administration to grant New York State the first Major Disaster Declaration (MDD) which provides the state with access to Disaster Relief funding. Since the MDD was granted, Senator Gillibrand has called on the Trump administration to urgently approve all public and individual assistance for New York that is still under review by FEMA.
- $30 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts and institutions of higher education to prepare and coordinate responses to COVID-19, and provide grants to support students who rely on school resources. Senator Gillibrand was a cosponsor of the Supporting Students in Response to Coronavirus Act and sent letters to appropriators requesting funding to support school personnel and continued access to student aid funding.
- $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans so they have the financial support needed to keep doors open and pay their employees. Senator Gillibrand is an original cosponsor of the Small Business Debt Relief Act, passed and funded in this stimulus package.
- $7 billion for Homelessness and Affordable Housing Assistance, including $4 billion for the Emergency Solutions Grant Program, which supports homeless shelters, and $3 billion for rental assistance to ensure low-income and working Americans have the support they need to prevent evictions and minimize other impacts caused by COVID-19. Senator Gillibrand called on Senate Leadership to provide more than $15 billion for homeless and housing insecure assistance.
- $1 billion to reauthorize and robustly fund Critical Primary Health Care Programs such as the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program. Senator Gillibrand formally requested funding for a Community Health Center Preparedness Program (CHCPP) and increased investment in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).
- $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster the domestic supply chain and ramp up production of medical supplies. Senator Gillibrand is a cosponsor ofthe bill to require the president to fully use the Defense Production Act (DPA). She will continue to stress the importance of utilizing full capacity of the DPA to increase production of needed equipment like PPE and ventilators.
- $200 million for FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) for wide-ranging services and $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to provide state, counties, and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it. In letters, Senator Gillibrand urged Senate Leadership for this critical funding.
- $45 million for the Family Violence Prevention Services Act programs to support domestic violence shelters and services for families. Senator Gillibrand urged the administration to provide support for domestic violence providers and organizations.
- Immediate access to capital for rural health providers. Senator Gillibrand successfully aided rural health providers by securing a temporary adjustment in Medicare reimbursement rates, up to a six month advanced lump sum in Medicare Advance Payments for rural hospitals, and access to expanded grant and loan programs.
- Disability Assistance and support for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Home- and Community-Based Settings (HCBS). Senator Gillibrand led theEnsuring Access to Direct Support Professionals Act , which was included in the stimulus package to aid people with disabilities, and secured partial reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program.
Senator Gillibrand secured the following funding for New York State:
- $15 billion in aid to the unemployed and expanded guidelines for eligibility and amount received will provide untold relief to New Yorkers.
- $5 billion in direct aid to New York through Coronavirus State and Local Grants. This is additional to the $6 billion in Medicaid relief already made available to the state and the billions accessed through the Major Disaster Declaration.
- $4 billion in direct aid to the states mass transit system
- $193 million for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID Funding
- $162 million for Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG) Funding
- $28 million for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Funding
- $18 million Center for Disease Control (CDC) Emergency Grant