Coronavirus Resource Page
My top priority is to ensure that Marylanders have the resources they need to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and are protected from the economic hardship resulting from it. This is an unprecedented public health and economic crisis that affects every citizen. I will keep fighting to make sure that Marylanders get the relief they need.
Now more than ever, Americans are feeling the weight of the pandemic. From watching more of their neighbors and family members fall ill, to struggling to pay mounting bills and put food on the table – the costs of this virus are all too real. The most recent relief package – while not perfect – will provide much-needed help.
Since the pandemic hit hard in March, I’ve worked to pass five major COVID-19 emergency relief funding packages in Congress. The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act became law on March 6th, followed by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18th. This bipartisan legislation bolstered our public health infrastructure, provided critical food assistance, and supported state unemployment insurance systems—among other key provisions.
The bipartisan CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27th, built on that foundation by improving our public health response and testing capacity, supplying unemployment and eviction protections to those hardest hit, and providing businesses with targeted small loan and grant funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The relief we secured through CARES was reinforced by an additional interim bill that funded frontline health care providers and made key fixes to the PPP.
In December, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were able to come together again and put another bipartisan plan on the table. This emergency relief came after months of stonewalling by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to hold a vote in the Senate on the House-passed bipartisan HEROES Act for over seven months. I worked to find common ground with bipartisan colleagues, including on the final dispute over the powers of the Federal Reserve, and was pleased to have fought for many of the priorities that were included in this package.
This bipartisan measure makes important progress on helping Marylanders weather the storm this winter. The package extends expanded unemployment benefits and the federal eviction moratorium and provides both rental and food assistance. It provides direct payments to help millions of families and delivers an infusion of funds to many key features of the bipartisan CARES Act, including a more-targeted Paycheck Protection Program focused on those small businesses most in need and those in hard-hit minority communities. The plan also contains necessary resources to expand testing, tracing, and safe vaccine distribution. During negotiations, I worked with my colleagues to include a number of provisions that I’ve been fighting for since the beginning of the pandemic – including funds to extend economic relief for families and small businesses, support our transit systems, marshal resources for schools and child care, and bolster SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs.
This package does not include everything I had hoped for – and the Congress will need to work together with the Biden-Harris Administration to provide more support in the future in order to help close the learning gap by getting students connected to the internet through investments in the E-rate program, and delivering funds to stabilize state and local governments to relieve regional budget pressures. But this plan will help families, workers, and small businesses across the country get by this winter and provide a bridge to new leadership in Washington.
Below you'll find answers to common questions about the coronavirus outbreak and information about how to access federal resources. You can stay up to date on my efforts in the Senate here. Together, we will weather this storm.