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Shelby: Senate passes monumental coronavirus legislation, provides $2 trillion in relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) applauded Senate passage of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  This major legislation contains $2 trillion in funding to bring critical relief and provide resources to the American people during this pandemic.

“This comprehensive package will bring much-needed relief for the people of Alabama and our nation during this mounting emergency,” said Senator Shelby.  “I am glad we have finally been able to advance these resources and help protect Americans throughout the country.  I am confident that this legislation will pave the way for us to overcome the current economic and public health crisis we are facing, allowing us to emerge stronger on the other side.”

The CARES Act, which passed by a vote of 96-0, provides resources for state and local governments straining from the effects of the pandemic; support for hospitals and health care workers; funding for medical equipment; support for law enforcement and first responders; funding for scientists researching treatments and vaccines; aid for small businesses; support for local schools and universities; and funding for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs.

The measure contains the following provisions, among others, that will impact Alabama:

  • $150 billion for State and Local Governments;
  • $45 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund;
  • $1.5 billion for State and Local Preparedness Grants;
  • $3.5 billion for Child Care Development Block Grants;
  • $250 million for Hospital Preparedness;
  • $100 billion for Reimbursements for Health Care Providers;
  • $30.75 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund;
  • $400 million for First Responder Grants;
  • $10 billion for Airport Improvements Grants;
  • $1.5 billion for Economic Development Administration Grants;
  • $450 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program;
  • $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program;
  • $349 billion for Small Business Administration Loan Guarantees;
  • $425 million for Mental and Behavioral Health Services;
  • $265 million for Small Business Grants for Counseling, Training, and Related Assistance;
  • $300 million for Fishery Disaster Assistance;
  • $850 million for Byrne JAG Grants; and
  • $23.5 billion for Support for Agricultural Producers.

The legislation provides $339.855 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to aid Americans during the Coronavirus crisis.  More than 80 percent of the total funding provided in the Coronavirus emergency supplemental appropriations division of the package will go directly to state and local governments.

This package follows two previous Coronavirus emergency relief bills passed by the Senate to provide relief for the American people during this unprecedented time.  The first emergency supplemental package was passed by the Senate on March 5, which provided $8.3 billion in total resources to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus.

The second legislative initiative – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which passed the Senate on March 18 – provides flexibility for the Departments of Treasury and Labor to assist small businesses, establishes emergency paid family and medical leave for those affected, and increases unemployment benefits and food aid.

Following the Senate passage, the CARES Act will now move to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Upon passage in the House, the legislation will advance to the President’s desk for his signature.

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