Durbin Highlights Improvements Senate Democrats Secured in Third Coronavirus Stimulus Package

Senate Democrats fought to address the public health crisis & put working families first

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today highlighted the improvements Senate Democrats were able to secure in the third coronavirus stimulus package – the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Senate Democrats made these significant improvements, among others, to the partisan bill Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) originally introduced:

  • Increases unemployment benefits for four months and expands unemployment insurance to self-employed and gig economy workers.
  • $55 billion increase in the Marshall Plan for our health care system.
  • $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as private nonprofits providing critical and essential services. 
  • $150 billion for a state, tribal, and local COVID-19 relief fund.
  • $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
  • $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
  • $30 billion in emergency education funding and $25 billion in emergency transit funding.
  • Make rent, mortgage, and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.
  • Ban stock buybacks for the term of the government assistance plus one year on any company receiving a government loan from the bill.
  • Establish robust worker protections attached to all federal loans for businesses.
  • Create real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments, or other assistance to corporations. 
  • Provide income tax exclusion for individuals who are receiving student loan repayment assistance from their employer.

“I believe this new agreement, some three days after the original one was proposed, is an improvement.  Credit should be given to both sides because Democrats and Republicans had to agree for this to make the final package… we agree we will vote on this this afternoon and I believe we will enjoy strong bipartisan support from the Senate – a dramatic improvement in the last 72 hours,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.