Senator Kelly on Bipartisan Emergency COVID-19 Relief: “Will protect jobs and bolster our economy…more is needed”

Bipartisan package includes support for unemployed, small businesses, schools and hospitals

Senator Kelly will vote for the bipartisan COVID-19 emergency relief package that will provide capital for small businesses to stay open and retain employees, expanded unemployment benefits for out-of-work Arizonans, funding for Arizona schools and hospitals, direct support for many Arizonans, and additional resources for vaccine distribution among other economic and public health priorities.

“This emergency relief will protect jobs and bolster our economy by helping those who need it most right now – individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, small businesses working to make payroll, and families behind on rent or unable to put food on the table,” said Senator Kelly. “For many Arizonans I’ve spoken with, this help is coming far too late, and it’s clear that more is needed. The partisanship that blocked this relief for months can only be beaten by finding common ground, and that’s why I’m already talking with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about how we can work together on the next steps to tackle this virus and get our economy back on track.”

Over the last two weeks, Kelly has worked with Republicans and Democrats on provisions that were part of the legislation, including extending the deadline for state, local, and tribal governments to spend direct aid from the CARES Ac, and ensuring that tribal communities received dedicated housing, broadband, education and other funding. 

Kelly continued, “Arizona’s tribal communities have been hit especially hard by the pandemic and battled it with too little help from the federal government. Through work across the aisle with Senator Murkowski and others, we were able to ensure that there is dedicated funding for tribal health care, education, broadband, and other needed relief to continue fighting this pandemic.”

Key Provisions in Emergency COVID-19 Relief Bill

Direct Payments for Families: $600 for Arizonans making less than $75,000 per year and $1,200 for couples making less than $150,000 per year, and $600 for each child dependent

Enhanced Unemployment: additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits for out-of-work Arizonans; extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program; expanded coverage for self-employed and gig workers

Small Businesses: $325 billion for small business relief, including targeted relief for minority-owned businesses; $284 billion is for two rounds of PPP loans with dedicated lending through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions; also includes bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Kelly in his first days as a Senator that will direct specific support to smaller live venues across Arizona to keep them afloat during the pandemic

Health Care: $69 billion for vaccines, testing, tracing, and health care; includes $9 billion to the CDC and states for vaccine distribution and $1 billion to the Indian Health Service

Schools: $82 billion for schools, including $818 million for the Bureau of Indian Education

CARES Act Extension: includes legislation from Sen. Murkowski and cosponsored by Sen. Kelly to extend until the end of 2021 the deadline for state, local, and tribal governments to spend direct aid from the CARES Act, a priority for Arizona communities and tribes.

Rental and Nutrition Assistance: $25 billion for rental assistance to be distributed by state and local governments to help families struggling to make rent or owing back rent; includes $800 million reserved for Native American housing entities; extends CDC eviction moratorium; $13 billion for nutrition assistance including a boost to SNAP benefits and funds for food banks and seniors nutrition programs

Agriculture: $13 billion in direct payments, purchases, and loans for farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to pandemic Broadband: $7 billion for broadband, including a $1 billion tribal broadband fund, $300 million grant program for rural broadband, and $250 million for telehealth