This page provides updates on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed by Congress on March 27, 2020.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)
On Friday, March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), the third in a series of emergency bills aimed at addressing the effects of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. The CARES Act is a bipartisan coronavirus aid and economic relief agreement containing $2 trillion in funding to address the needs of Americans confronting the coronavirus pandemic, making it one of the largest single appropriations ever signed into law. The legislation provides new resources to help strained state, local, and tribal governments as they combat the pandemic; support for hospitals and health care workers on the front lines of the public health crisis; funding to purchase personal protective equipment and essential medical equipment; support for law enforcement, firefighters and first responders; funding for scientists researching treatments and vaccines; support for small businesses, support for local schools and universities and funding for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs.
Key Components of the CARES Legislation:
Unemployment Insurance ($260 billion)
Full Paycheck Replacement: an additional $600 per week for every American receiving unemployment insurance (UI), which equates to 100 percent of wages for the average American without a paycheck struggling through the Crisis.
Waiver of Waiting Weeks: Gets money to individuals sooner by providing federal incentives for states to eliminate waiting weeks.
Extension of Benefits: An additional 13 weeks of federally-funded benefits to be made immediately available.
Expanding Access: Allow part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers to access UI benefits.
Marshall Plan For Our Health System ($150 billion)
This new $150 billion program will provide grants to hospitals and other health care providers to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenues due to the coronavirus.
Helps hospitals and other health care providers purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), testing supplies, increase workforce and training, new construction to house patients, and emergency operation centers.
An additional $4.3 billion to public health agencies to respond to the coronavirus, including aid to help with purchasing PPE laboratory testing and infection control and mitigation.
Robust Worker and Transparency Protections on Government Loans
No stock buybacks, dividends, or increase in executives’ pay (including bonuses) for the length of any loan provided by the Treasury plus 1 year.
Protect collective bargaining agreements.
Real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations.
Prohibition on businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments getting loans or investments from Treasury programs.
Creation of Treasury Department Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of Treasury loans and investments and a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars.
Creation of a Congressional Oversight Commission to enhance legislative oversight of pandemic response.
Small Business Rescue Plan ($377 billion)
$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 Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
$17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
Protects Over 2 Million Aviation Industry Jobs
Direct payroll payments to keep millions of airline workers on the job and receiving paychecks.
Collective Bargaining Agreements negotiated by workers will be protected.
Increased Direct Payments to Working Americans
Doubled cash payments to the working-class Americans from $600 to $1,200, with an additional $500 per child.
The full payment is available for individuals making up to $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (married).
The value begins decreasing and then phases out completely for those making over the full payment income cap.
State and Local Coronavirus Expenditures Fund ($150 billion)
To assist States, Tribes, and local governments that must pay for new expenses related to COVID-19 response.
$150 billion going directly to state and local governments to be used, this year, to meet costs connected with the virus.
Each state will receive at least $1.25 billion, with more populous states receiving considerably more.
A portion of each state’s allocation will go to local governments. Only local governments with populations over 500,000 people are eligible for direct funding.
($330 billion, including $100 billion for hospitals and providers mentioned above)
$16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile;
$1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains of PPE, ventilators and other essential medical equipment, and billions of additional dollars for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase equipment;
$45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as private non-profits performing critical and essential services;
$30.75 billion for grants to provide emergency educational support;
$25 billion to our nation’s transit systems;
$10 billion to help our nation’s airports;
$3.5 billion in additional funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus;
More than $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs to help low-income and working-class Americans avoid evictions. Places a moratorium on foreclosures of federally backed workers and evictions from federal housing;
More than $6.5 billion in Federal funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the Economic Development Administration, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help mitigate the local economic crisis and rebuild impacted industries such as tourism or manufacturing supply chains; and
$400 million in election assistance for the states to help prepare for the 2020 election cycle, including to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting and online registration, and increase the safety of voting in-person by providing additional voting facilities and more poll workers.
Student Loan Relief
Income Tax relief encouraging employers to implement student loan repayment programs by excluding up to $5,250 in qualifying student loan repayments paid by the employer on behalf of the employee.
Maryland Specific Grant Funding:
Coronavirus Relief Fund: $2,344,000,000 to Maryland, $691,000,000 of which goes directly to local governments;
COVID-19 Stimulus Package Award (based on Justice Assistance Grant Program Formula): $17,276,794;
Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Grants from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Coronavirus: $11,399,000;
Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG): $30,816,055 to Maryland, allocated as follows:
Baltimore – $13,143,476
Anne Arundel County – $1,222,538
Baltimore County – $2,461,738
Montgomery County – $2,877,593
Prince George’s County – $3,047,807
Other Maryland Counties – $8,062,903
Federal Transit Association (FTA) Grants: $695,418,978;Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $118, 803,118, including specific allocations to local jurisdictions;
Supplemental Election Grants: $7,422,125;
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA): $1,416,040;
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): $34,345,000;
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP): $504,000;
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): $469,200; and
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): $541,900
For those interested in a more detailed breakdown of the various appropriations included in the CARES legislation, please click here for a section-by-section breakdown put out by the staff to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
On April 16, 2020, th U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a new guide to help independent contractors and self-employed individuals secure funding under the CARES Act. The guide for independent contractors and self-employed individuals is available at uschamber.com/ICguide.
(*This page was last updated on April 16, 2020)