Sen. John Cornyn discusses provisions laid out in CARES Act

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act—also known as the CARES Act—into law Friday, March 27. The $2 trillion package provides funding to help fight the virus and financial assistance for Americans during the pandemic.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, supported the legislation. He said members of Congress are doing everything they can to address the nation’s needs during this time of social distancing, school closures and industry slowdowns.

“This is a time of unprecedented emergency,” Cornyn said at an April 1 webinar sponsored by the Greater Houston Partnership. “Certainly, in my lifetime, I never thought I would vote on—much less for—a $2 trillion-plus spending bill. But I believe that as President [Donald] Trump has said that the country is on a war footing and that we should approach this the way we would any other national, and indeed, international, emergency.”

The CARES Act includes $100 billion for hospitals responding to COVID-19 and $16 billion for personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, to keep health care providers and first responders safe.

As layoffs and claims for unemployment benefits continue to rise across the nation, Cornyn said the legislation will also provide immediate relief for families struggling to pay their bills by direct-depositing cash via the IRS into Americans’ accounts. A family of four making less than $150,000 annually should receive up to $3,400 within two to three weeks of the bill’s signing date, he said.

“People are losing their jobs and paychecks, and everyone’s hunkering down at home and wondering how this will all end,” he said. “So the first thing we wanted to do in this latest legislation is get cash in the hands of people who are not receiving a paycheck through no fault of their own.”

Additionally, the bill strengthens the unemployment insurance system, increasing benefits by $600 a week and extending the duration of unemployment insurance benefits by an additional 13 weeks, according to Cornyn.

The CARES Act also established the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses employing up to 500 individuals. Through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the program provides eight weeks of assistance to help cover payroll, rent and other expenses at a 0.5% interest rate.

“We’re hoping to minimize the disruption this will have on businesses that you’ve worked so hard to build and avoid as many layoffs as possible,” Cornyn said. “We know you don’t need anymore red tape or bureaucracy—you need a lifeline, and that’s what this legislation is designed to provide.”

Cornyn said his staff is working with business owners to aid in the process of applying for assistance. Follow his Facebook page for the latest COVID-19 updates and more information on the CARES Act.
By Danica Smithwick
Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a Cy-Fair reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a journalism degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. She became editor of the Cy-Fair edition in March 2020 and continues to cover education, local government, business, demographic trends, real estate development and nonprofits.


The death total in Harris County now stands at 221. With 11,770 cases confirmed in the county, the death rate stands at 1.9%. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1 new death confirmed May 28, 8 deaths over past 7 days

By comparison, 23 deaths were confirmed between May 16-22, and 39 deaths were confirmed between May 9-15.

Klein Oak High School graduating senior Christopher Jones II received a variety of gift items from community member Rachael. (Courtesy Allanda Nichols)
Greater Houston-area graduating seniors celebrated through online community

Seniors of the graduating Class of 2020 are being celebrated with gifts and well-wishes through organized Facebook groups and "adopt-a-senior" programs created by Greater Houston-area community members.

Lone Star College plans to partially open 26 buildings beginning June 1. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College System discusses reopening plan for June 1

Lone Star College plans to partially open 26 of its buildings June 1, prioritizing health science buildings.

Volunteers donate food and their time to Cypress Assistance Ministries during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Cypress Assistance Ministries)
Cy-Fair nonprofit seeks volunteers to keep up with demand for assistance

“If you already were barely making it paycheck to paycheck and you’ve lost that paycheck—I really can’t imagine it.”

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Students enrolled in the University of Houston College of Nursing can take classes at the Sugar Land campus. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: UH College of Nursing dean reflects on how coronavirus has affected education, profession

Kathryn Tart, dean of the University of Houston’s College of Nursing, spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about how the novel coronavirus is changing the way the university is educating nursing students.

Houston Methodist researchers conducted a 25-patient trial in March and April to examine the safety of convalescent plasma transfusions as a possible treatment for COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Methodist)
Greater Houston-area health systems examine plasma transfusion as possible COVID-19 treatment

The experimental therapy involves the transfer of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to those who are currently symptomatic.

Cy-Fair ISD's Pridgeon Stadium will soon be home to a Harris County COVID-19 testing site. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
Harris County COVID-19 testing centers relocating to Pasadena, Cy-Fair

The county continues to operate a total of six testing locations, where up to 1,700 residents can access testing each day.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

About 13,600 Cy-Fair residents filed unemployment insurance claims between April 15-May 16, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Cy-Fair unemployment insurance claims down 33% month-over-month

More than 13,000 residents in the Cy-Fair area filed for unemployment insurance benefits between April 15-May 16.

According to METRO, the two employees were a bus controller and a bus repairman, neither of whom had contact with the public. The bus controller has not worked for METRO since May 17. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Two more METRO employees test positive

According to METRO, the two employees were a bus controller and a bus repairman, neither of whom had contact with the public. The bus controller has not worked for METRO since May 17.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spoke to members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 about what the state's post-pandemic economic turnaround might look like. (Screenshot of May 27 virtual luncheon)
Texas comptroller predicts slow, steady economic turnaround post-pandemic

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said the state entered the era of the coronavirus in a healthy financial situation, which bodes well for the future as reopening continues, but that Texans are not out of the woods yet.