Press Releases

House Passes Coronavirus Relief Package to Support Workers and Small Businesses

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) supported the passage of a $2 trillion legislative stimulus package to provide direct relief for workers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan legislation makes historic investments in public health care systems, provides urgently needed relief for families and small businesses, and will boost the nationwide pandemic response. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate and is awaiting a signature from the President.

"We are confronted by an urgent and unprecedented crisis -- it was equally urgent that we pass this bipartisan legislation to get relief directly to the working families and small businesses who need help now," said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. "For workers who have been laid off and small businesses struggling to meet payroll, this bill will provide immediate assistance, helping them to weather the widespread closures and other public health measures that have impacted their livelihood. This legislation also makes vital investments to give our health care workers and hospitals the resources they need to fight this pandemic. This is not the end of the road -- we have more work to do and I’m ready to keep working with Republicans and Democrats to ensure our community has the resources it will need to ultimately recover from this crisis.”

Notably, the legislation includes key provisions from Congresswoman Wexton’s Retirement Protection Act, which was introduced earlier this week. Wexton’s bill safeguards Americans’ retirement savings from the impact of the financial crisis brought on by COVID-19 by suspending for the current year the required minimum distribution for defined contribution retirement plans.

Wexton also helped secure language to provide expanded paid leave and telework options as well as contracting relief for small business federal contractors. Early last week, Wexton advocated for clear guidance and contract flexibility for federal contractors whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. 

Following significant improvements secured by Democrats in negotiations with Senate Republicans and the White House, the bill funds a robust next step in response to the COVID-19 crisis that will save lives and support families, workers, and small businesses. 

Key provisions of the CARES Act include greatly enhanced unemployment insurance, direct cash assistance for workers, billions in lending and grant programs designed to help small businesses and municipalities weather this crisis, and accountability measures to ensure federal funding is not spent on stock buybacks or bonuses for corporate executives. The bipartisan legislation also includes a historic investment in our health care system to ensure our hospitals and frontline responders have the resources they need to address this pandemic. The bill also cancels payments for all federal student loan borrowers through September 30, 2020 and suspends interest accrual on those federally-held loans.

A summary of the bill can be found here