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Clarke Votes in Favor of the Bipartisan CARES ACT to Combat COVID-19

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) voted in favor of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which passed in the House. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that secures many initiatives pushed by House Democrats, including greater unemployment insurance, direct payments to hard-working Americans and assistance to small businesses to maintain payroll and pay rent to avoid laying off workers. This bill restricts large corporations from receiving public grants and loans in order to ensure that taxpayer funding benefits workers first. This bill will also direct billions of dollars toward hospitals and other providers to ensure that all healthcare workers have the equipment needed to do their jobs safely and effectively. 

Clarke said: “At this critical time in our nation’s well-being, I supported the CARES Act–and although this is not the bill I would have supported if there was a Democratic President and Democratic Senate, the need to act now to protect my constituents’ health and well-being is paramount. Brooklynites are counting on action from Congress today as more and more people are being impacted by COVID-19.” 

Congresswoman Clarke led initiatives to make sure bigger companies who receive support put their workers first and to ensure cultural institutions and non-profits were included. She is proud of House Democrats for securing the following pro-worker actions in this stimulus package, including:

  • $200 billion investment in hospitals and health systems
  • $150 billion for state and local governments in this agreement
  • $260 billion investment in Unemployment Insurance benefits to match the average paycheck of laid-off or furloughed workers
  • $377 billion infusion of fast relief for small businesses and made rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness 
  • $30 billion in emergency education funding and eliminated income tax on student loan repayment assistance by an employer
  • For accountability and oversight, prevented secret bailouts and added special oversight requirements  

Clarke said: “For all those who are out of work, whether they are employees or freelancers, this bill expands unemployment benefits. The direct cash assistance – checks of $1,200 for every American earning $75,000 or less – means $15.5 billion in the hands of New Yorkers.”

New Yorkers have been through 9-11, The Financial Meltdown, Superstorm Sandy and now COVID-19. In our city of New York, we’re not just facing economic ruin, but also a genuine health care crisis. We will survive this outbreak and today’s passage of the CARES Act is a step in the right direction to bringing some much-needed help to Brooklynites and Americans during this pandemic,” Clarke continued.