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Legislation passed Senate 96-0; now headed to House

In bipartisan package to address coronavirus pandemic, Senator Murray successfully fought to include surge funding for hospitals, medical supplies in Washington state and across the country, and key accountability measures on federal aid 

CHILD CARE: New $3.5 billion investment in child care to support essential workforce including health care workers 

WORKERS: Package significantly expands access to unemployment benefits, includes direct payments 

SMALL BUSINESS: Legislation includes more than $375 billion in federal grants, loans, and assistance to support small businesses struggling due to economic downturn

Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, also secured additional federal investments to address housing concerns, support tribal government frontline response efforts, and more

Senator Murray: “There’s no question there is much more to do to fight this virus” 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a top Democratic appropriator and the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement on her vote in support of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, legislation to provide much-needed relief in response to COVID-19 in Washington state and across the U.S.

This weekend, Senator Murray called Republicans back to the negotiating table after opposing a version of the relief package, drafted without Democratic support, and secured stronger resources and support for hospitals, health care workers, and hard-hit communities in Washington state and nationwide.

“From the beginning of this crisis I’ve insisted that our response be focused on getting people on the front lines the support they need, like surge capacity in hospitals, more medical supplies and personal protective equipment for responders, and relief for workers and small businesses who’ve had the rug pulled out from under them. I’m glad Democrats pushed for and got much-needed changes that will do more to help Washington state hospitals, workers, small businesses, and hard-hit families and communities.”

“I also want to be clear that this was not the bill I would have written on my own, and there’s no question there is much more to do to fight this virus—especially when it comes to ensuring all workers have paid leave, cost isn’t a barrier to treatment, and hard-hit states like ours get the resources we are demanding.”

“I know how difficult this time is for people across our state and I want every worker, student, and family in Washington to know I am holding each of you in my heart, and that I will continue holding the Trump Administration accountable for implementing this law, and others related to the coronavirus response, with the urgency, consistency, and equity our state deserves.”

"I am doing absolutely everything I can to make sure Washington state gets what we need from the other Washington, and I won’t stop until we’ve recovered. There is a long road ahead, but we will get through this together.”

See below highlights of several federal investments and other priorities Senator Murray secured in the funding package:

  • Health Care
    • Hospitals: $100 billion nationwide in surge funding for hospitals and health infrastructure.
    • Public Health Agencies: $4.3 billion nationally to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.
    • Personal Protective Equipment: $16 billion for the National Strategic Stockpile to purchase supplies, including personal protective equipment.
    • Medical Supplies: $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, and billions dollars more for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase such equipment.
    • Community Health Centers: $1.32 billion in supplemental awards for community health centers.
  • Workers
    • Child Care: $3.5 billion nationally for the Child Care Development Block Grant, which supports child care and early education programs.
    • Unemployment Insurance: $600 increase to the weekly unemployment insurance benefit and expansion of eligibility for benefits to those impacted by COVID-19.
    • Direct Payments: $1,200 per individual, plus $500 for children.
    • Retirement Income: Increases in people’s flexibility to access and manage their retirement savings. 
  • Economic Support
    • Small Businesses: More than $375 billion in small business grants, loans, and assistance.
    • Transportation: $35 billion nationally in aid to our nation’s transit systems and airports.
    • Corporate Accountability: Protections against big corporations abusing federal support by preventing compensation increases and bonuses for executives and stock buy backs.
  • Washington State Priorities
    • Emergency Funding: $45 billion nationally for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
    • Education Funding: $30.75 billion nationally to help ensure K-12 schools and institutions of higher education can continue to serve students as they respond to the coronavirus crisis.
    • Housing Funding: $7 billion nationally for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs.
    • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $5 billion nationally for counties and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it.
    • Tribes: More than $10 billion for tribal COVID-19 response expenses.
    • Tri-Cities: Directions to the federal government to ensure tens of thousands of workers at the Hanford Nuclear Site and PNNL who cannot telework continue to receive pay.
    • Veterans: $19.6 billion nationally for our nation’s veterans, including to help treat COVID-19, purchase test kits, and procure personal protective equipment for clinicians.
    • Fisheries: $300 million nationally for tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants.

For a breakdown of the Senate package and some of the funding going specifically to Washington state, see HERE

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