Rep. Bera Statement on House Passage of Coronavirus Emergency Relief Bill | Congressman Ami Bera

Rep. Bera Statement on House Passage of Coronavirus Emergency Relief Bill

Mar 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan emergency relief package for American families and small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus.

“As a doctor, I am proud to support this historic piece of legislation, which will bring urgent relief to American families and small businesses,” said Rep. Bera. “Today’s vote is an important step in getting our communities back to health and on a path to economic recovery. I’ll continue to work with local, state, and national leaders and public health experts to ensure Sacramento County receives all the resources to keep our community safe.”

Rep. Bera sent a letter to Congressional leaders on March 20 urging them to include provisions to ensure Americans stay housed and have access to shelter in this third emergency relief package.

Bera-led provisions that were included in the emergency package which passed today include:

  • A moratorium on foreclosures for all federally-backed mortgages including those covered by HUD, USDA, FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 60 days.
  • A moratorium on filings for evictions for renters in homes covered by a federally-backed mortgage and for residents of federally subsidized apartments for 120 days from enactment.
  • $4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance and to support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts created by coronavirus.

I am pleased to see that my housing provisions received strong bipartisan support and will soon become law after the President’s signature,” said. Rep. Bera. “As California already grapples with an ongoing housing and homeless crisis, it’s imperative that we protect our most vulnerable community members who are at-risk of homelessness because of the coronavirus pandemic as more Americans lose access to childcare, experience loss of income, and face emergency medical costs. Now, more than ever, housing is healthcare.”

Additional provisions in the emergency package include:

  • 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.  It is estimated that California will receive approximately $15 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit our state’s residents.
  • Expansion of Unemployment Benefits to Help Workers: 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 for out of work individuals, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers for this year.
  • Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans: Provides for 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.
  • 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.

Congressman Bera has been a strong supporter of American leadership in global health. Rep. Bera chaired the first congressional hearing on the coronavirus. He is a member on the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, which in November 2019 made a series of recommendations to prevent pandemics.