WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement after the Senate’s passage of the ‘Phase III’ relief bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act:
“Our country is facing a pandemic, and we must act now to make certain Kansans have the support they need to weather this storm. The CARES Act is far from perfect and includes many provisions I would not support in ordinary circumstances, but hospitals need supplies, small businesses need loans, farmers and ranchers need certainty and folks who are out of work, through no fault of their own, need relief. Through direct payments to families, assistance to hurting industries and strategic solutions to meet health care demands, Phase III will provide relief and resources to help make certain small businesses can keep employees on the payroll and reopen their doors when this pandemic has passed.
“Despite the bill’s many imperfections, I’m pleased a number of provisions I advocated for are included in this legislation, such as providing aid to the aviation industry and community banks and providing additional resources to the FCC as we utilize more broadband and telecommunications services to meet the economic and educational needs of families in this uncertain time.”
Sen. Moran Priorities included in the CARES Act:
- Resources for SBA Loans: Improves the utility of the SBA’s 7(a) loan program by temporarily increasing the types of businesses, nonprofits, and lenders eligible to participate in the program, providing flexibility in the use of such loans, and instituting loan forgiveness measures to keep employees on the payroll.
- Support for Health Care Providers: Supplies $100 billion in direct assistance to health care providers treating COVID-19 patients. Also increases payments to Critical Access Hospitals during this pandemic.
- Resources for Critical Medical Supplies: Addresses medical supply shortages by providing $16 billion to procure personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other medical supplies.
- Resources for Vaccines, Therapeutics, Diagnostics, and other Medical Needs: Provides $11 billion for producing a vaccine and other medical supplies to prevent the virus and help treat it.
- Support for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Provides $4.3 billion to the CDC for public health preparedness and response.
- Support for Critical Research on COVID-19: Provides resources for research and development efforts of the National Science Foundation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Increase to Food Access: Provides $450 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to help food banks purchase, store and distribute food to people in need.
- Support for Veterans: Provides $19 billion for the Department of Veteran Affairs to treat COVID-19, purchase test kits and Personal Protective Equipment and support veterans during this pandemic.
- Support for Farmers and Ranchers: Includes $9.5 billion for the Secretary of Agriculture to provide support to farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19, including livestock producers; and includes $14 billion to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation to address challenges in the agricultural economy.
- Support for Manufacturers: Includes $50 million of additional funds to NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program, which provides direct support to the nation’s small and mid-sized manufacturers, and none of the funds provided under this legislation would be subject to the cost share requirement that is a normal requirement for this program.
- Relief for Community Banks: Lowers the Community Bank Leverage Ratio, allowing banks to dip further into their capital reserves for increased lending during these times of stress. This will help banks quickly provide loans to those who need them.
- Relief for Aviation Industry: Provides $10 billion in relief for airports, including $100 million for general aviation airports.
- Support for Kansas Airports: Includes $56 million for essential air service (EAS), providing aid to the five EAS airports in Kansas.
- Support for Tribes: Dedicates $8 billion in economic support to tribal governments, plus $1 billion for Indian Health Services.
- Support for FCC COVID-19 Response: Helps the FCC prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
- Removal of Regulatory Burdens: Fixes regulations in the paid leave mandate for small businesses.
- Support for Economic Recovery: Provides additional funding support to the Economic Development Administration to address national economic injury impacts resulting from COVID-19.
- Support for Rural Development: Provides additional resources for USDA’s Business & Industry Loan Program, USDA’s Distance, Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program and the USDA’s ReConnect Program to expand broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved areas.