COVID-19

Latest in Washington:

As we continue to learn more about this, I am doing all that I can to ensure that state and local governments have all the resources they need to control this outbreak. 

  • March 3rd – I introduced H.R. 6019, the bipartisan “Cure the Coronavirus Act,” legislation to encourage the rapid innovation and approval of a treatment to prevent or cure the Coronavirus Disease 2019.
  • March 4th – Congress approved an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. The emergency supplemental includes:
    • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
    • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies;
    • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity; and
    • $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home.
  • March 11 – I sent a letter to Vice President Pence, the designated lead for the federal government’s coronavirus response, urging the Administration to reconsider its “public charge” rule in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 
  • March 12 – I introduced legislation to provide free coronavirus testing to uninsured Americans which was included in the House-passed Families First CoronaVirus Response Act. 
  • March 14 – Congress passed the Families First CoronaVirus Response Act. 
  • March 27 – Congress passed the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – a $2 trillion federal relief package to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few of the initiatives in this legislation that will benefit California residents:
    • A $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund:  Creates a $150 billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. California will receive approximately $15 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit 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 workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
    • Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans:  Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household.  These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
    • 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 the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
    • Approximately $200 Billion for Our Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Health Research:  Provides an investment of about $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, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
    • A summary of the full bill can be found here.

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