UPDATED 4/28/20 to include information about Phase 3.5 – Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act.
The federal Stimulus Package is an overwhelmingly large set of policies that is being developed by the US Congress in response to the challenges posed by the current public health crisis. It’s aimed at improving the capacity of healthcare providers and mitigating damage to the economy.
It provides bailouts, grants, and loan funding to large corporations, small businesses, individuals, hospitals and healthcare centers; as well as local and state level governments. It also provides protection and support for vulnerable groups of people by improving SNAP benefits, increasing access to Medicaid, providing student loan support, protecting against foreclosure and eviction, and giving access to payroll and economic injury support for small business owners.
The Stimulus Package is divided into phases. The focus of each phase has progressed from immediate emergency response in Phase I and II to longer-term stabilization and growth in Phase III, additional amendments in Phase 3.5, and a focus on infrastructure in the proposed Phase IV.
Phase I – Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
Passed March 6th, total: $8.3 Billion. Review the final policy language.
- Funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), The State Department, The Small Business Administration (SBA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
- $4 billion to make more coronavirus tests available, and $1 billion in loan subsidies for small businesses.
Phase II – Families First CoronaVirus Response Act.
Passed March 18th, total amount currently unclear. Review the final policy language.
- Provides free Coronavirus testing, even for people who are uninsured.
- Two weeks paid sick and family medical leave.
- Increased funding for Medicaid and SNAP.
- Increased unemployment insurance benefits.
Phase III – CARES Act.
Passed March 27th, total: $2 Trillion. Review the final policy language.
A full summary of the CARES act was put together by NPR and can be found here.
This act focuses on:
- Individual cash payments, unemployment benefits, insurance benefits, and loan supports for citizens.
- Bailouts for industries including airlines ($58 billion), hotels, casinos, cruise lines, and mall operators ($150 billion combined).
- $10 billion in grants and $350 billion in loans for small businesses.
- Funding for actions taken by local and state governments in response to CoronaVirus.
- $339.8 billion in support for local and state level governments.
Phase 3.5 – Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act.
Passed April 24th, total $484 Billion. Review the final policy language.
A full summary of Phase 3.5 was put together by the National Association of Counties and may be found here.
This act focuses on:
- Replenishing $320 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program and approximately $60 billion into the SBA’s Emergency Injury Disaster Programs.
- An additional $75 billion for local hospitals and healthcare providers.
- $25 billion for testing
- Increased reporting for local and state level governments making use of COVID-19 response funding.
Phase IV – Taking Responsibility for Workers and Families Act
Introduced March 30th. Review the proposed policy language.
* Note: if passed, the points of Phase IV that adjust existing points of the other phases would become law. The parts of all other phases that are not mentioned would stay as they are.
A 1 page summary of Phase IV by the US House Democrats and can be found here. (We are mindful of offering bipartisan information. Since the House Democrats proposed Phase IV, they are the only legislators who have built a fact sheet thus far.)
- Makes any healthcare-related to COVID-19 free.
- Improves support for healthcare providers.
- Expands the medical and family leave policy from Phase II.
- Increase in support for state governments to $200 billion and for local governments from $5 billion in CDBG funds to $15 billion.
- Increase in individual cash payouts.
Quick Question: What’s an Appropriation?
The Stimulus Package is essentially a set of policies called appropriations. Appropriations are amounts of money that are allocated to be spent on something specific. Through the Stimulus Package, Congress is appropriating funds to federal agencies as well as state and local governments, which will be responsible for disbursing the funding. The policies also include a few broad guidelines about how the agencies should do this. Because these guidelines are so broad, it falls to each agency to determine the specific rules regarding implementation.
This is important to mention because if you’re someone working the community development field and you’re looking for information about:
- When funding will be available.
- Whether you or your organization qualifies for funding.
- How to apply.
Instead of sifting through hundreds of pages of policy, reaching out the agency which received the appropriation is your best bet.
Go to the main web page: Policy Impacts for WV Communities »
Please email Taylor Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org with thoughts and questions.