By Lauren Schapker, vice president, legislative affairs, ARTBA

The House March 27 passed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act by voice vote. President Donald Trump signed it into law. The CARES Act is the third piece of legislation passed in response to COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. The Senate passed the bill 96-0 earlier in the week.

The CARES Act provides aid to individuals, economically distressed businesses, and state and local governments. $114 billion in aid is directed to aviation and public transportation-related COVID-19 response efforts. The CARES Act also addresses concerns raised by ARTBA over emergency paid sick and family medical leave requirements by including loans, grants and tax credits directed at small businesses.

ARTBA prepared a summary of the CARES Act that details several of the major provisions in the bill.

The House and Senate are now on recess until April 20. However, leadership on both sides of Capitol Hill indicate additional response legislation will be needed, and work will continue while members are away from Washington, D.C.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted her preference for the next legislation is a focus on economic recovery and said in a March 26 interview that she hopes infrastructure will be included in the next bill. Pelosi indicated conversations on a fourth package are already happening between leadership and the White House.

ARTBA staff will continue to update you as events develop.