COVID-19 Stimulus Package Deal Reached

by Mar 25, 2020

US Senator Jeff Merley updates

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has been a wonderful resource of information for the COVID-19 crisis, especially as it relates to protecting small business owners and families. Please be sure to checkout his COVID-19 resource page.

The Latest from Senator Merkley:

Delivering for Oregon families, businesses, and health care providers: Senator Merkley announced this morning that the new, bipartisan deal on a third relief package to address the coronavirus crisis will contain major provisions to help Oregon families, businesses, and health care providers struggling with the fallout of the global pandemic. The $2 trillion economic rescue package will include:

 

  • Checks of $1200 per adult and $500 per child to most working and middle-class Americans;
  • $350 billion in fully forgivable loans to small businesses, a concept similar to the grant program that Senator Merkley proposed last week;
  • $150 billion to provide stability to state, local, and tribal governments to maintain health, education, and other services in the face of collapsing tax revenue;
  • An additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits, and an expansion of the program to cover part-time workers, gig workers, the self-employed, and contractors;
  • $30.75 billion to help local school systems and higher education institutions continue to provide educational services to their students;
  • More than $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs to help low-income and working class Americans avoid evictions.
  • $3.5 billion to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus;
  • Bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Merkley and Senator Burr (R-NC) to authorize an investment of $255 million per year to support nurses—the heart of our health care system—who are on the frontline fighting the coronavirus.

Senator Merkley will stay in touch as Congress proceeds with the deal and as we receive more information about implementation that we know Oregonians across the state need to know as soon as possible.

Helping Stranded Oregonians

Senator Merkley and his team have been making phone calls to the State Department to help get Oregonians stranded in other countries get back home ASAP. His office is pressing the State Department to use every available resource to help people who are stranded, to no fault of their own, because of this international crisis. If you’d like to help get the word out that our office is working to help Oregonians stranded abroad, you can share the Senator’s recent Facebook post about this issue. The Senator was successful in helping a group of Oregonians in Morocco, including students from Lewis and Clark College, home, and our office will continue working on overdrive to support others who need the Senator’s help getting home:

 

Supporting Seniors

As the details of the third coronavirus relief package were being announced yesterday, Senator Merkley and Wyden announced funding to provide meals to Oregon’s low-income seniors as a result of the last relief package passed by Congress, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Oregon will receive more than $3 million to help provide home-delivered and pre-packaged meals to low-income older adults as communities are ordered to stay home and avoid social contact in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

 

Merkley Announces Major Provisions for Oregonians in 3rd Coronavirus Relief Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that a new, bipartisan deal on a third relief package to address the coronavirus crisis will contain major provisions to help Oregon families, businesses, and health care providers struggling with the fallout of the global pandemic.

The $2 trillion economic rescue package will include:

  • Checks of $1200 per adult and $500 per child to most working and middle-class Americans;
  • $350 billion in fully forgivable loans to small businesses;
  • $150 billion to support a surge in the health care system; and
  • An additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits, and an expansion of the program to cover part-time workers, gig workers, the self-employed, and contractors;
  • $150 billion to provide stability to state, local, and tribal governments to maintain health, education, and other services in the face of collapsing tax revenue;
  • $30.75 billion to help local school systems and higher education institutions continue to provide educational services to their students.
  • More than $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs to help low-income and working class Americans avoid evictions
  • $3.5 billion to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus.

The deal also includes legislation authored by Merkley and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to authorize an investment of $255 million per year to support nurses—the heart of our health care system—who are on the frontline fighting the coronavirus.


Merkley released the following statement:

“Oregonians and Americans have been devastated by this crisis. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been talking regularly with small business owners and workers in Oregon who are facing an economic abyss. They need help, and they need help now. Today, we have reached a critical agreement on a deal that will provide desperately-needed support to families, workers, small businesses, and our frontline health care workers.

“I’ve been fighting hard to help small businesses stay afloat and, importantly, to help them keep paying as many of their workers as they can. While this compromise does not do as much as I would like, it will make fully forgivable loans available to thousands of Oregon small businesses, which could be the difference between collapse and a path to the other side of this emergency.

“As the husband of a nurse, I’ve seen up close how difficult their jobs are and how important they are to patients. As this pandemic intensifies, nurses will be on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus. We needed a major investment in nurses and the nursing workforce even before this crisis hit, and we need it even more now.

“We must realize that any choice between our lives and our livelihoods is a false choice—we cannot have one without the other. This proposal invests in both health care and the economy. It provides desperately needed relief so that we can save lives now and keep families afloat until we have defeated this virus. Now, Congress must pass it, and the President must sign it, without delay.”

Click here for our COVID-19 Small Business Resource Guide

Please share your story.

Columbia County businesses that have been impacted by the current health crisis need to come forward and tell their story.

The Oregon State Chamber of Commerce has stated that federal assistance is contingent on local businesses speaking up and letting the state know that they are struggling.

We are asking businesses to share their stories and examples of economic hardship, so that we can pass them on to state and national government. 

 

In addition to sharing your story with the chamber, consider sharing your story through the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce website.  

The South Columbia County Chamber is very grateful for our $1000 Columbia Level Sponsors

Grocery Outlet
Hurliman CPA
InRoads Credit Union
Port of Columbia County Logo
mark lang logo
RA Construction
Western Heating & Cooling
Finish Line Graphics
Hailey Iverson Edward Jones
City of St Helens
Columbia County Oregon Color Logo
NEXT renewable logo

The Chamber is also excited to recognize our $500 Willamette Sponsors

NW Plumbing Services Logo
sembro logo
Healthy Smiles of Scappoose logo
John L Scott Real Estate
Hagan Hamilton
Michael Ismert Insurance Agency