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After pushing back against Republican attempts to bail out corporations with no strings attached, Senator Murray secures billions in relief funding for Main Street

Senator Murray also worked to secure important protections against corporate abuse from companies receiving federal relief funds and crucial checks on how funds are distributed

Senator Murray: “This is far from the last step we’ll need to take, so Congress should be prepared to do even more to support our nation’s workers, including those who support people with disabilities, and other small businesses as we continue navigating this storm together”

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate labor committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, helped secure provisions in the Senate coronavirus relief package to help small business owners and companies in Washington state and across the country. The package includes more than $375 billion in small business grants, loans, and assistance.

“I’ve heard from so many business owners across Washington state who are struggling right now, so while it’s not the bill I would have written by myself, I’m glad we were able to take some necessary steps in this stimulus to provide critical federal grants, loans and other support to help keep businesses afloat during these painful times—as well as to secure protections to prevent the largest corporations from using taxpayer dollars to buy back stocks or allow executives to line their own pockets with pay raises. This is far from the last step we’ll need to take, so Congress should be prepared to do even more to support our nation’s workers, including those who support people with disabilities, and other small businesses as we continue navigating this storm together. I’m going to keep fighting to ensure that federal funds are distributed in our communities in a fair and transparent manner.”

On March 23, Senator Murray called Republicans back to the negotiating table after opposing an earlier version of the relief package, released without Democratic support, and fought to include important limits and protections on federal bailout funding, including limits on executive compensation, stock buybacks, and key accountability measures on how federal relief funds are distributed. Additionally, Senator Murray fought to secure the following federal investments to help bridge the gap for small businesses in Washington state and nationwide who are struggling due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Economic Relief For Small Businesses
    • Small Business Loans: $350 billion in direct loans, loan guarantees, and loan forgiveness to help small businesses and non-profits maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities.
    • Small Business Grants: $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
    • Small Business Debt Relief: $17 billion nationally to relieve small business loan payments on existing SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for the next six months.
    • Small Business Employee Retention: A new refundable tax credit for small businesses who keep their employees on payroll.
    • Pensions: For businesses that sponsor single-employer pension plans, required contributions will be delayed until the end of the year.
  • Accountability and Transparency
    • No stock buybacks or dividends for the length of any loan provided by the Treasury plus 1 year.
    • Restrictions on increases to executive compensation.
    • 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 – with subpoena power – to enhance legislative oversight of pandemic response.

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