March 27, 2020

(Kansas City, MO) – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide critical funding to our national healthcare system and much-needed economic relief to American workers and small businesses dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) applauded passage of the historic legislation, which will now go to the President’s desk for signature.

“As over 3,000,000 jobless claims filed this week indicate, the American people are facing an unprecedented economic emergency to go along with a public health crisis,” said Congressman Cleaver. “The CARES Act will provide immediate economic relief to millions of hardworking folks and small businesses who have lost work and business due to no fault of their own, while administering over $150 billion to hospitals and community health centers to combat this pandemic. We’re still in the middle of a raging storm, but our hope is this stimulus will provide some shelter until skies begin to clear. Should more stimulus be needed, which I believe is likely, Congress will be ready to step in.”

A few of the numerous initiatives that will benefit the people of the Fifth District of Missouri include:

  • A $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund: To provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated that Missouri will receive approximately $2.38 billion in desperately needed funds to aid our state’s residents.
  • $260 Billion in Dramatically Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding- eligibility to include the self-employed and gig economy workers.
  • Immediate Direst Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans: Provides for direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child. Payments begin to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 ($150,000 for joint-filers). With much of the American economy currently shut down, these payments will bring immediate relief to individuals with the cash they need to weather the economic storm.
  • More Than $375 Billion in Small Business Relief: Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants
  • Approximately $200 Billion For Our Healthcare System, Workers, and Research: Provides an investment of roughly $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems, and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
  • More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations, Including the Following:
    • Transit Agencies: Provides $25 billion to transit agencies, which have all seen a drastic drop in revenues as social distancing has been implemented. Missouri will receive over $250 million under this program
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant: Supports child care and early education by providing Missouri with more than $66 million in Child Care and Development Block Grants
    • HUD Emergency Solution Grants: These grants are designed to address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Missouri will receive over $38 million from this program.
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. Missouri will receive nearly $18 million through LIHEAP.

In addition to these initiatives, Congressman Cleaver called for provisions that would provide emergency housing relief to low-income Americans and ensure religious institutions and other nonprofits were included in the stimulus package. Cleaver was pleased to see that $1.25 billion was included for tenant-based rental assistance, which will give the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary broad flexibility to preserve Section 8 voucher rental assistance for seniors, the disabled, and low-income working families who experience loss of income from the coronavirus. Cleaver was also pleased to see that nonprofits will be able to access the $375 billion in small business relief, much of which comes in the form of forgivable loans.

“The American people deserve a comprehensive, strategic, and fully-funded response from the federal government to keep their families safe and financially secure during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s precisely how we arrived at this historic legislation,” said Congressman Cleaver. “As we navigate through these unchartered waters, I will continue seeking bipartisan solutions to protect the health and financial stability of my constituents in the Fifth District of Missouri.”

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.