Kuster Applauds Senate Passage of Coronavirus Legislation, Calls for Swift Action in the House
Concord, NH - Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the coronavirus stimulus legislation passed by the Senate this evening.
“We are faced with an unprecedented public health and economic crisis with the spread of COVID-19 in New Hampshire and across the United States,” said Kuster. “Tonight, the Senate has heeded the calls of countless Granite State workers, families, health care providers, and small businesses by advancing this robust response package. The situation we face as a nation is dire, and I want to thank my colleagues, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, for their work in Washington to secure a bipartisan agreement for the people of New Hampshire. While this legislation is a compromise that does not include all of the provisions put forward in our House bill, it will provide much-needed support for our health care system, American small businesses, workers, families, and our economy. I look forward to supporting this legislation and urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same. The health of the American people and the vitality of our economy are at stake.”
Kuster has pushed for resources for New Hampshire health care professionals and first responders, as well as small businesses and employees in response to the COVID-19 crisis. On Saturday, Kuster called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act immediately with a robust COVID-19 response package to support New Hampshire's health care system, workers, families, and small businesses. Kuster warned of the dire consequences of inaction and urged House and Senate leadership to pass bipartisan legislation as soon as possible to strengthen the local health response, support small businesses, protect American workers, boost access to health care and telehealth, and increase oversight and accountability.
Provisions in the legislation passed by the Senate today:
Small Business Rescue Plan
- Nearly $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and non-profits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities.
- $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
Bolster America’s Health System
- Establishes a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide financing to hospitals and health providers.
- Additional funding is dedicated to delivering Medicare payment increases to all hospitals and providers to ensure that they have the resources they need during this crisis.
Enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- This bipartisan legislation includes additional investments to support Americans who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Importantly, the bill would allow part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers to access UI benefits.
Financial Support to Americans and Families
- With many Americans finding themselves without a paycheck or increased costs due to COVID-19, this bill includes direct cash payments to American families that need it the most.
- The full payment is available for individuals making up to $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (married), with the payment phasing out for those who earn more.
- Most seniors on social security are also eligible for these cash payments, ensuring that they are provided with additional financial assistance during this difficult time.
Accountability and Oversight
- Real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations.
- Creation of a Congressional Oversight Commission – with subpoena power – to enhance legislative oversight of pandemic response.
- This bill includes a prohibition on stock buy-backs or dividends for the length of any loan by the Treasury, plus one year. Additionally, the bill includes strict restrictions on using taxpayer dollars for CEO and Executive compensation.