March 27, 2020

Manchin Statement On President Trump Signing Third Coronavirus Emergency Funding Package

Protecting Jessica Grubb's Legacy Act Also Signed Into Law

Charleston, WV – Senator Manchin released the following statement after President Trump signed the COVID-19 emergency funding package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, into law. The Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act was also signed into law as part of the larger emergency funding package.

“I am relieved the House of Representatives passed this bill today and President Trump quickly signed it into law. After days of tough negotiations, this emergency funding package has more than $150 billion for hospitals, $31 billion for our schools and $150 billion for state and local governments. We also fought to ensure four weeks of unemployment insurance as opposed to three. Now comes the hard work of ensuring every West Virginian gets these resources we have allocated. I will continue to work around the clock to help West Virginians navigate this process,” Senator Manchin said. “Today’s package also included the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act meaning we have taken an another important step in changing the way our medical system treats patients with substance use disorder to protect patients from preventable accidents that lead to their addiction.”

To learn more about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, please click here or read below.

Senator Manchin fought for a week to include additional funding for West Virginia’s most vulnerable populations.

  • The original Mitch McConnell bill included $75 billion for hospitals. Senator Manchin fought to double that and the final bill included $150 billion for hospitals.
  • The original Mitch McConnell bill included $20 billion for our schools. Senator Manchin fought to include an additional $10 billion bringing the total to $31 billion for our schools.
  • The original Mitch McConnell bill included no funding for state and local governments. Senator Manchin fought to include $150 billion for states and local governments.

Stopping the Spread

  • Helping Hospitals and Healthcare Providers – We cannot begin to heal our economy until we can stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result of negotiations over the weekend, the amount of funding for hospitals and medical facilities increased from $75 billion to $150 billion to cover unreimbursed healthcare related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the public health emergency resulting from the coronavirus. This includes $50 billion in increased Medicare payments to providers.
  • Protecting Healthcare Workers – We cannot do enough to arm our healthcare professionals with the equipment they need to protect themselves. The CARES Act includes various provisions to increase our domestic supply of masks, gloves, gowns, and other essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile, $4.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and $1 billion to increase production under the Defense Production Act.

Immediate Assistance to Unemployed Workers

  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance – We must take care of those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. This relief package includes a dramatic expansion and reform of the existing unemployment insurance program. It expands eligibility to include part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers; it provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits; and it increases individual benefits by $600 per week to ensure that no one is penalized for practicing responsible social distancing.
  • Direct Payments – To address additional, unforeseen financial challenges, the bill authorizes direct payments of $1,200 ($2,400 for couples) to all Americans making less than $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). Above that threshold, benefits will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income and phased out entirely for those making $99,000 or more ($198,000 for couples). Families are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. Working class Americans that file their taxes will receive a direct payment. Those who are on Social Security or otherwise do not file income taxes will receive their payment in the form of check. We are pushing the Treasury Department to issue these checks as quickly as possible.

Supporting Small Businesses

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – The CARES Act includes nearly $350 billion for a Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration (SBA) that will provide small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. Up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. Principal and interest will be deferred for up to a year and all borrower fees are waived.
  • Emergency Economic Injury Grants – To address immediate cash flow concerns, the CARES Act includes $10 billion for advances of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDLs are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75 percent for companies and up to 2.75 percent for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to 4 years. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses.

Funding for State and Local Governments

  • Coronavirus Relief Fund – Funding for state and local governments was a major source of debate around this bill. Thankfully, the final package includes what previous versions lacked – $150 billion to support state and local governments on the front lines of the response effort, including no less than $1.25 billion for West Virginia. It also authorizes an additional $454 billion to leverage more than $4.5 trillion in lending for distressed states, municipalities, and businesses.
  • Resources for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement – The CARES Act also includes $850 million for the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG) to help state and local police departments and jails meet their needs, including the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other needed medical items and to support overtime for officers on the front lines. Includes over $6 million in dedicated funding for West Virginia.
  • Additional Funding for Schools – The final version of the CARES Act includes more than $10 billion more than initially proposed for elementary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. In total, the bill provides $31 billion in grants to educational institutions so they can continue to serve their students. This includes $13.5 billion for elementary and secondary education and another $14.25 billion for higher education.

To view the full bill text, please click here.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here

To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.