Congressman Al Green Commends Passage of Landmark $2 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Mar 27, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – On Friday, March 27, 2020, Congressman Al Green voted in support of the most recent coronavirus relief legislation – H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. He released the following statement:            

“Today, I supported the bipartisan and historic CARES Act, the third tranche of coronavirus relief legislation aimed at defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating its effects in the United States,” Congressman Green said, announcing the passage of H.R. 748 in the U.S. House of Representatives by voice vote. “The first tranche was H.R. 6074, which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for vaccine research and availability as well as prevention, preparedness, and response measures. The second was H.R. 6201, which provided over $100 billion in funding for paid sick leave and measures to protect families’ health, economic, and food security.”

The CARES Act includes provisions that embrace two of three bills Congressman Green traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this week to introduce.

“The CARES Act contains provisions for fair housing, small business relief, states and municipalities, small banks, and hospitals that I advocated for through legislation and letters to House leadership on behalf of my constituents. H.R. 748 contains provisions that address many of the objectives of my bill H.R. 6380.  I introduced this bill to provided certainty to consumers that funds will be entirely backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, even in these uncertain times. By granting the FDIC authority to insure the full amount of deposit accounts beyond the current limit of $250,000, the CARES Act ensures that depositors and their banks can be confident in the security of their money.  Similarly, another of my bills – H.R. 6382 – calls for increased funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) for fair housing enforcement. The CARES Act enacts a $2.5 million increase for FHIP and FHAP.”

The Cares Act also contains provisions that deliver on relief for several industries called for by Green in letters last week to Speaker Pelosi and other relevant leaders. “In my March 20th letter to Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi, for example, I called for loans, tax credits, and grants to give small businesses, micro businesses, and the self-employed access to capital during this time of national hardship. Additionally, I wrote a letter cosigned by 10 of my Democratic and Republican colleagues from Texas expressing the urgent needs of Texas Children’s Hospital and children’s hospitals across the country that are combatting COVID-19. Thankfully, they will be eligible for hospital relief funding within the CARES Act. Another letter I wrote with four of my Texas colleagues expressed the urgent needs of state and local municipalities that require resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Although not perfect, this legislation does address several urgent needs of the American people during this tumultuous time. It embodies the vision the Framers of the Constitution held when they set out ‘to form a more perfect union’ and ‘to promote the general welfare’ of the people of the United States,” Congressman Green added.

“The CARES Act provides a state and local coronavirus relief fund, dramatically expanded unemployment benefits that includes gig workers and self-employed workers, direct cash payments to low- and middle-income Americans, small business relief, funding for hospitals, health care workers, and health research, as well as additional emergency appropriations. The State of Texas is set to receive: $24.4 million in election assistance; $39.1 million in CDC assistance awards; $68.6 million in assistance for state and local law enforcement agencies for PPE and medical items needed; $89.2 million in energy assistance for low-income families; $143.4 million in HUD emergency solution grants; $368 million for the Child Care and Development Block Grant; $1.1 billion in funding for public transit including for employees; as well as $11.2 billion in state and local relief.”

The Houston Congressman concluded by saying, “I am proud to say that we in Congress are working together to do what the people deserve during this global health emergency. I look forward to the President signing the CARES Act and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue addressing this pandemic until we have stopped the spread of COVID-19 and successfully flattened the curve.”