WASHINGTON, DC -- On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives promptly approved the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, less than 48 hours after the Senate unanimously passed the Congress's third comprehensive bill aimed to rescue the U.S. economy and address healthcare shortages.
The CARES Act fast-tracks recovery rebate checks for Americans most in need, provides critical resources for rural hospitals, provides emergency loans for small businesses, supports local and state governments, boosts grant support for economic development, and protects healthcare providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Chief among the many highlights of the CARES Act are recovery rebate checks to help individuals and families impacted the most by the pandemic. Individuals earning up to $75,000 or $150,000 per married couple, who are not dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible social security number, are eligible for a rebate totalling $1,200 per person or $2,400 per married couple, plus $500 per child. Individuals who rely solely on programs like social security income or veterans benefits are also eligible for the recovery checks.
Congressman Rogers submitted the following remarks for the Congressional Record in support of this historic legislation:
"I rise today to express my strong support for H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
"Simply put, the challenges that the COVID-19 coronavirus pose to our country are without precedent. As the President has said, we are at war. But it is not a war against another country or a terrorist network, it is a war against a silent enemy that is ravaging our people and forcing us to sacrifice our economic wellbeing.
"This is especially hurting us in rural America, where small businesses, rural hospitals, barber shops, non-profits, and the like are scrambling for answers and hope.
"My people in Southern and Eastern Kentucky have responded to this crisis with incredible courage and compassion. Without being prompted, our people are filling in the gaps. I’ve heard story after story about healthcare workers on the frontlines despite not having the protective equipment they need; churches are shifting online and offering assistance to local families; and neighbors, teachers and community leaders are making sure our school children and seniors don’t miss a meal.
"And this bill provides the necessary confidence they need to know a plan is in place to get through this crisis together. I was proud to work with House and Senate leadership to ensure that this bill protects our small businesses, keeps our hospitals afloat, and provides financial stability to our hardworking families. It also provides much-needed funding for medical supplies, and ensures our cities, counties, and states have the resources necessary to ensure the safety of our citizens.
"As Ranking Member of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee, I would also like to note that this bill provides critical funding for the State Department to respond to the pandemic at United States diplomatic facilities around the globe, to support continued consular services to Americans abroad, and for costs associated with bringing home Americans that have been stranded overseas. Funding is also provided to ensure all Peace Corps volunteers get home safe. Lastly, funds are included to support humanitarian assistance needs related to the coronavirus internationally.
"But above all else, the most important thing this bill does is bring hope to Americans searching for a way to protect the health of their families and their livlihoods.
"Since our country’s birth nearly 250 years ago, the American people have faced a myriad of challenges. And in every one of these instances, we have pulled together and overcome. I have full faith that we will do so again, and this bill helps ensure that we will be victorious."
Congressman Rogers launched a webpage to help constituents track programs and legislation related to the coronavirus pandemic at halrogers.house.gov/coronavirus. You can also follow action from the White House at coronavirus.gov.
For a list of benefits in the CARES Act with particular interest to Southern and Eastern Kentucky, click here.
For the CARES Act: Recovery Check FAQ, click here.
For a summary of the legislation, click here.
To read the entire bill, click here.