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Update on Emergency Relief Package

March 22, 2020

This is a summary of an update provided by the American Public Transit Association

March 22, 2020

COVID-19 Funding for Public Transit and Amtrak

Today, Congress continues to actively work on a third package of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response legislation and an emergency aid package could pass in the coming days. This morning (March 22), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated a draft bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (H.R. 748). At this point, there is not bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the draft bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi indicated this afternoon that the House would introduce its own COVID-19 response legislation tomorrow. The Senate is planning to begin procedural votes on the CARES Act tonight in the hopes of bringing the legislation to the Senate Floor tomorrow.

Public Transit

The CARES Act draft bill includes $20 billion for public transit formula grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. The bill provides:

* $16 billion for urbanized area formula grants and

* $4 billion for rural area formula grants.

Amtrak

The CARES Act draft also provides more than $1 billion for Amtrak grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. The bill provides:

* $492 million for the Northeast Corridor grants; and

* $526 million for the National Network grants.

Given that the immediate path forward on this legislation is unclear, we encourage you to continue to share your letters to your Congressional delegation and personal stories on social media. 

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