Legislative Actions

I am fighting to ensure that those on the front lines of this COVID-19 pandemic have the tools they need to protect themselves, their families, and their communities, and hold the Trump administration accountable to do more to address this public health crisis. So far, Congress has passed four bills to respond to COVID-19, all of which have been signed into law: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enactment Act.

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Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

Signed into law on March 6, 2020

Helps states and local governments prepare for the crisis

  • The law provides money directly to state, local, and tribal governments to conduct public health preparedness. The law also provides support for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to contain and combat the virus including quarantine efforts, purchase of test kits, and communicating with and informing public health institutions.

Boosts research and development

  • The law boosts funding for the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and National Institutions of Health (NIH) to support research, development and manufacturing for vaccines for COVID-19.

Aids health care preparedness

  • The law provides nearly $1 billion dollars to purchase masks and personal protective equipment for state and local health agencies in areas with a shortage of medical supplies. Community Health Centers also receive funding which they can use to help smaller clinics in underserved urban and rural areas.

Provides telehealth flexibility

  • The law provides flexibility to Medicare providers to furnish telehealth services to more beneficiaries regardless of whether the beneficiary is in a rural community. This will allow Medicare recipients to receive care from physicians and other practitioners in their homes

Assistance for small businesses and families

  • The law authorizes disaster loans for small business impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The bill also restores funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention, and heating and cooling assistance for low-income families (LIHEAP).

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act Fact Sheet


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Signed into law on March 18, 2020

Free testing for coronavirus

  • The law ensures that all individuals, including those with private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will not be charged out of pocket for coronavirus testing. If you are experiencing symptoms, visit the CDC.gov.

Strengthens food assistance

  • The law includes more than $1 billion to provide nutritious foods to pregnant women and mothers with young children, help food banks, and provide meals for families and seniors. It also allows schools and nonprofits to serve children during closures and allow multiple meals to be taken home or delivered.

Safeguards medicaid benefits

  • The law increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) that the federal government provides to state and territorial Medicaid programs. This will ensure states have the resources they need to maintain and expand health care coverage.

Enhances unemployment aid

  • The law gives states the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave

Establishes paid leave

  • The law establishes emergency paid leave programs for some employees should they have to stay home to care for a child or if they are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. Employers and self-employed workers will be reimbursed for wages paid under these programs through refundable tax credits.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Fact Sheet


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Signed into law on March 27, 2020

Hospitals, health care providers and equipment

  • The law includes $100 billion to hospitals, health care providers and facilities. It also includes $16 billion in additional funding to purchase personal protective equipment and other supplies, and $4.3 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support federal, state and local health agencies.

Unemployment insurance

  • The law expands state unemployment insurance eligibility to self-employed workers, independent contractors, part-time workers, gig workers and workers impacted by shutdowns due to COVID19. Everyone receiving unemployment insurance will receive a weekly increase of $600 through July 31, 2020. Benefits will be extended by 13 weeks.

Direct support to families

  • Individuals will receive a $1,200 cash payment ($2,400 for joint filers) along with an additional $500 per child. This money begins to phase out for people making more than $75,000 a year ($150,000 for joint filers). To receive this cash payment, you must have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return or be receiving Social Security benefits.

Small, medium, and large businesses

  • Small businesses, nonprofits and self-employed workers will receive loans of up to $10 million. Essential costs for eight weeks of the loan are forgiven if they meet worker retainment conditions. 
  • Medium and large businesses will have loans, loan guarantees and other investments available to them. Companies that receive assistance will have restrictions on stock buybacks, executive compensation, and requirements to maintain employment of workers,

Relief for communities, students, farmers, and more

  • The law provides $150 billion for state and local government needs related to housing, education and childcare. A $9.5 billion dedicated disaster fund will help farmers who are experiencing financial losses from the coronavirus crisis, including targeted support for fruit and vegetable growers, livestock and dairy farmers, and local food producers. The law also includes tax relief to encourage employers to implement student loan repayment programs.

CARES Act Fact Sheet


Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enactment Act

Signed into law on April 24, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program

  • $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses. $60 billion of this will be set aside for Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, community-focused lending intermediaries, and the smallest community banks and credit unions.

Economic disaster relief

  • $60 billion in economic disaster relief for small businesses. $50 billion to fund Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), which will support more than $350 billion of additional EIDL lending, and $10 billion in EIDL grants. Eligibility for these loans was expanded to include farms and agricultural businesses.

Hospitals and health care

  • $75 billion in additional funding for hospitals and health care providers. This money will help with expenses and lost revenue hospitals and health care providers are facing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Nationwide testing

  • $25 billion for researching, manufacturing and administering COVID-19 tests. This funding will also support infrastructure to implement contact tracing and laboratory capacity expansion. Testing remains free to all Americans due to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enactment Act Fact Sheet


American Rescue Plan

Signed into law on March 11, 2021

For more information on the American Rescue Plan, visit Senator Heinrich's press release on the legislation.

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