Town Hall with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
District 7
By Donna Hawkey

April 1 -Town Hall Hosted by Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Third COVID-19 Federal Relief Package Summary

“Our hearts are big, our resolve is strong, and we can get through this,” says Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal during her on-line town hall on Wednesday, April 1st, where she describes the Third COVID Relief Package signed into law last week called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

She says, it’s “not perfect, but will deliver critical relief.” 

And it’s the largest expansion in decades for emergency funds that covers help for those self -employed, the unemployed, and low income support, too. Her goal is to push for a monthly package such as guaranteed income.

Seattle is still a “hot spot,” says Rep. Jayapal. 

 Our current positive COVID diagnosis is nearly at 5,000 residents, and we have lost 195 lives, as of a few days ago. She firmly reminds us that social distancing is quite important, and she says, we will see this distancing in the “foreseeable future.”

Rep. Jayapal also sent her warmest gratitude to all the state and local health care workers who have been dedicating their lives for our safety and health. They all deserve our utmost respect. And social distancing is one way to do that, in order to keep down the number of future infections, and deaths.

Here are some highlights and support links.

Financial Assistance

Unemployment packages are expanding to cover the broadest population possible including those not typically eligible for unemployment benefits such as: self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work hours, and others. 

The CARES Act provisions include the “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” program. With this legislation, most everyone will be covered, however, always check the fine government print for your individual situation.

The news is positive with immediate relief coming to the pockets of those earning less than $75,000 per year with a relief check of $1,200; for couples earning under $150,000, they will receive a check for $2,400. And there will be $500 for each child. The program benefits taper with higher income levels.

The self-employed are covered under this program, too, but only up to a $100,000 a year salary.

For those in lower or fixed income brackets such as seniors, many military veterans, and those with disabilities, who do not usually file an income tax report, these citizens will receive payment also - but the process to receive checks will take slightly longer - it’s all being worked on to make it as simple as possible to apply online. You can keep up to date on this HERE

Self-Employed/Small Business/Non-Profit Support

Small business policies work hand-in-hand, and Washington state scores big with $350 billion for the Payment Protection Program, to include 501c3 and 501c19 non-profits, and other non-profits, depending on their individual category.

Incentives are for business owners to only have to pay a fraction back on a loan if used to help their employees, with a small percentage designated for capital expenditures such a rent.

There are $10,000 loan amounts that can be forgiven if borrowers maintain a consistent payroll schedule, or restore their payroll back to pre-coronavirus outbreak levels, with a June 30th deadline for hiring everyone back. The Small Business Association (SBA) plans to roll this out April 3rd. SBA program assistance

Commercial lenders are also offering a loan forgiveness program if 75% of the loan is used for salary or payroll. And there are emergency grants worth $10,000 through the Express Loan and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, and the business doesn’t need a loan to be eligible.

All this is a “big step forward but we’re working on the next one – the Fourth COVID Relief Package,” says Rep. Jayapal. She promises “vigorous oversight” of the taxpayer monies, and also will help to make sure those in the most need, get what they require to weather this unexpected crisis.

Some of her concerns going forward into the next Fourth COVID package negotiations in Congress are:
  • We need to protect immigrants - both the individual and our entire food chain - as immigrants are required to keep our food chain moving properly. Rep. Jayapal calls the administration's current views on this “extremely short-sighted” for a public health issue.
  • Medical treatment COVID funds for those without insurance, or whose insurance is inadequate, needs to be addressed as many are incurring huge medical bills.

Student aid needs – It was not the intention to leave out college students, but it happened, and that needs to be fixed, says Rep. Jayapal.

More information about COVID-19:
  • from Rep. Pramila Jayapal HERE 
  • CARES Act legislation
  • Another user-friendly resource on the CARES Act that was put together by the Speaker’s office is HERE
    • It breaks down the benefits by recipient. Scan through the entire document as sometimes the resources for you or your organization are available in different sections.
  • Non-profits, remember that the SBA will be administering many of the programs you are eligible for. And the state ESD will be doing that for some of your employees.


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