Sen. Brown Votes to Pass Coronavirus Stimulus Bill to Provide Workers and Hospitals with Relief Now; Brown Worked to Put Workers First After GOP’s Initial Draft was Corporate Bailout
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted to pass the Coronavirus stimulus bill that would send immediate relief to our health care system and to American workers struggling as a result of the pandemic. Brown has been fighting to put assistance directly in the pockets of workers, expand Unemployment Insurance, provide the resources and personal protective equipment (PPE) our frontline health care workers need, and more. After President Trump and the Senate GOP produced a pro-corporate bailout at the expense of workers, Brown went to work to improve the deal and help put workers first.
Brown has worked and will continue to fight to ensure that the significant funds provided for the Federal Reserve to boost the economy will be used to help people and communities who are struggling, including helping people stay in their homes if they experience a drop in income. To ensure dollars intended to stabilize the economy during this health crisis are not wasted, Brown created a new position, the “Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery,” who will oversee the use of stimulus funds – helping to catch and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. He also wrote a provision barring high-ranking political officials, or their families, from profiting from the bill’s provisions.
Brown also vowed to continue working to secure additional protections Ohioans need. While the bill does include a 120-day eviction moratorium that prevents landlords from evicting families during the pandemic and a 60-day foreclosure moratorium with up to 12 months forbearance for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage, the Senator will continue fighting to provide Ohioans and people across the country more relief when it comes to mortgages and rental payments. He’ll also continue working to provide student loan debt relief, and to secure provisions to mobilize American manufacturers to ramp up medical equipment production.
“We need to move quickly to fight the coronavirus pandemic and get resources to the people who need help. This month, I’ve been talking to Ohioans from all walks of life and asking what they need to keep our state healthy and safe. This package reflects a lot of those priorities, including money going directly in the pockets of workers, expanding Unemployment Insurance and critical supplies and resources for our frontline health care workers,” said Brown.
Brown continued, “I will do everything I can to make sure we get resources quickly to the Ohioans who need it – and to make sure money actually ends up in the pockets of workers, not CEOs. We will need robust oversight of these programs to hold corporations as well as the Trump administration accountable, and to guarantee that these corporations put their workers first. I’ll also be working to secure stronger provisions to keep renters and homeowners in their homes and to protect Americans’ credit scores.”
The bill would:
- Provide direct assistance for people struggling – up to $1,200 per person
- Provide increased unemployment benefits, including for self-employed and independent contractors
- Provide $100 billion in immediate, direct aid to health care institutions on the front line of this crisis, and an additional $55 billion increase in the Marshall Plan for our Health Care System
- Provide $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains, enabling industry to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies
- Provide $150 billion for a state, tribal, and local Coronavirus Relief fund for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase necessary supplies and equipment
- Provide $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs
- Prohibit businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs
- Provide $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans
- Provide $30 billion in emergency education funding
- Provide $25 billion in emergency transit funding
- Provide $3.5 billion in additional funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant to provide child care assistance for health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus
- Provide $30 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as private nonprofits providing critical and essential services
- Make rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness
- Prevent landlords from evicting renters during the pandemic – the provision would create a 120-day moratorium on eviction for properties with federally backed mortgage loans and assistance
- Help keep homeowners in their homes by providing up to a year of forbearance and creating a 60 day moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners with loans insured or guaranteed by FHA, VA, or USDA or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Help multifamily property owners by providing up to 90 days of forbearance to properties with federally backed loans
- Ban stock buybacks for the term of the government assistance plus 1 year on any company receiving a government loan from the bill
- Create real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations
- Create of Treasury Department Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of Treasury loans and a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars
- Add a retention tax credit for employers to encourage businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis
- Provide income tax exclusion for individuals who are receiving student loan repayment assistance from their employer
- Suspend payments and involuntary collections for federal student loans (both Direct Loans and federally-held FFEL loans) for 6 months, until September 30, 2020
- Eliminate a $3 billion bailout for big oil
- Eliminate a “secret bailout” provision that would have allowed bailouts to corporations to be concealed for 6 months
- Save hundreds of thousands of airline industry jobs and prohibited airlines from stock buybacks and CEO bonuses
Brown has led efforts to secure critical resources for Ohioans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic:
Earlier this month, Brown helped pass a $8.3 billion Supplemental Coronavirus Spending Bill that President Trump signed into law that includes at least $15.6 million in immediate funding to help Ohio prepare for the coronavirus.
Brown worked with his colleagues to ensure Ohio and local communities around the state have the funding they need to prevent and manage any potential cases of the coronavirus. The final package includes $8.3 billion in total funding, with $7.8 billion for immediate help to combat the coronavirus, and an additional $500 million authorization to enhance telehealth services.
Last week, Brown applauded Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza’s swift approval of Ohio’s application to qualify for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program after Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) wrote to the Administrator asking him to approve the application. This approved application will help get critical resources to Ohio’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Small businesses in Ohio can now apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans at disasterloan.sba.gov.
Today, Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be releasing more than $3.2 million to help Ohio community health centers keep Ohioans healthy and safe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Brown helped secure the funding in a package passed by Congress earlier this month.
Brown also announced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ACL) has awarded the State of Ohio $8,809,218 to help local communities – in partnership with their Area Agencies on Aging – provide meals for Ohio seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak. Brown fought to secure the funds as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law last week. The funds will go toward programs like Meals on Wheels and will be distributed by the Ohio Department of Aging.