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We'll soon pass a massive bill to bring economic relief to Americans during the epidemic.

By negotiating hard over the last two days, we got a much better deal for the country and New Jersey than the initial Senate bill that partisans wanted us to rubber stamp.

Some highlights:
The final deal grants over $100 billion to hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 - $55 billion more than the original bill - and billions more for protective equipment.
Our bill creates a $150 billion fund to help state and local governments that are about to see tax revenue vanish. The original Senate bill did not have this.
We got a lot more funding for mass transit systems - which will help NJ Transit and Amtrak get through the crisis.
We will provide $350 billion in loans to small businesses & non-profits, which can be fully forgiven if they retain their employees.

Democrats won additional emergency grants - up to 10k - that small businesses can get in days to meet immediate needs.
We will greatly expand, and extend the duration, of unemployment benefits. This will apply to self employed and gig economy workers.
The original bill gave the administration a slush fund to bail out big businesses with few strings attached and no requirement to even tell us which companies get the help for another six months.
The final deal places this fund under an independent auditor and oversight board with full transparency.

And we got a rule prohibiting any Treasury loans or investments from aiding businesses controlled by the president, VP or members of Congress.
We will help the airlines survive, but much of the money must pass straight through to their employees. They will be barred from stock buybacks or issuing dividends.
Every adult making under $75k ($150k for married couples) will get $1200, plus $500 for each child. That's not much, but it will help. The bulk of relief comes from helping businesses keep employees on payroll & unemployment insurance.
We got $400 million to help states secure the November election, including via vote by mail - much more than the original bill.

Senate Republicans refused to require states to allow vote by mail -- the only way to secure the election if the epidemic remains acute.
There were other disappointments. Among other things, McConnell rejected making COVID-19 treatment free, refused further expansion of paid sick and family leave and to prohibit utility shutoffs, & resisted stronger language on price gouging.
But this is a much better bill because of our efforts, and it won't be the final bill. For example, I am pushing, with Chairman @RepPeterDeFazio, for an economic recovery package focusing on big investment in our nation's infrastructure.
Finally: Our economy hasn't shut down because of coronavirus. It's shut down because our nation did not (unlike S. Korea) muster widespread, early testing for coronavirus. We need a public health system, and leaders, capable of doing better.
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