Durbin Statement on Bipartisan Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act

Senate Democrats fought to address the public health crisis & put working families first in third coronavirus stimulus package

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Senate passed, on a bipartisan basis, the third coronavirus stimulus package – the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

“America and Illinois, help is on the way.

“After two emergency bills were enacted with strong, bipartisan support, I’m glad the Senate, on a bipartisan basis, passed this third, historic funding bill. 

“Like all compromises, this bill is not perfect.  However, because Senate Democrats insisted on strengthening this bill, we can now say it is a bill that puts our hospitals and health care professionals first.  Keeping working families strong during this crisis; giving small businesses the means to re-open; and reimbursing our state and local governments for the extraordinary sacrifices they are making were our goals from the start.  We have responded strongly to all of these priorities.

“As we continue to face this unprecedented public health crisis, I urge the House to pass this legislation quickly and for the President to sign it without delay.”

Senate Democrats made these significant improvements, among others, to the 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 hospitals and 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.