Just hours ago, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or “CARES Act.” The bill — Phase 3 of the COVID-19 federal aid package — was passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives this afternoon and on Wednesday by a unanimous (96-0) vote in the Senate.
The CARES Act $2 trillion price tag represents the largest aid package in U.S. history and contains many important provisions for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and of course – healthcare. Here is a breakdown of the measures we believe to be most important to families across the nation:
Individuals & Families
- Most Americans will receive a stimulus payment of at least $1,200. Payments will be received in April via direct deposit, or by mail if the IRS does not have your bank account information.
- Single Americans who make up to $75,000 per year (including those on Social Security) will receive $1,200 plus $500 per child.
- Married couples who make up to $150,000 per year (including those on Social Security) will receive a check for $2,400 plus $500 per child.
- Individuals who make between $75,000 and $99,000 per year, and married couples who earn between $150,000 and $198,000 per year, will receive a check for less than $1,200. (The payment amount falls by $5 for every $100 in income above the thresholds.)
- Unemployment benefits are increased by $600 per week for up to four months. A new program – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – is created for self-employed and contract workers (including religious workers) who are typically ineligible for unemployment insurance.
- $350 billion for loans to small businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits for eight weeks.
- Loan forgiveness provided for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.
- Increases the maximum loan amount for Small Business Administration express loans from $350,000 to $1 million through Dec. 31, 2020.
- Automatic deferral payments provided on SBA loan products for six months.
- Expedites access to capital for small businesses that have applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Businesses may request an advance of up to $10,000 for covered leave, payroll and debt obligations.
- $275 billion in grants and funding for training and assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19.
- $117 billion for hospitals and veterans’ health care
- $16 billion for the strategic national stockpile
- $11 billion for vaccines and therapy
- The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of elective abortions and elective abortion coverage, will apply to new health funding in the bill, including $100 billion for hospitals and other health care providers.
- Planned Parenthood is excluded from small business loan assistance. The Small Business Administration’s affiliation rules are applied to nonprofits with less than 500 employees for loans and forgiveness of payroll costs. (Planned Parenthood’s approximately 16,000 employees far surpass the threshold.)
- 501 (c)(3) organizations, including faith-based nonprofits and houses of worship, with less than 500 employees are eligible for government-guaranteed loans through the .
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans eligibility is expanded to include nonprofit organizations.
- A (Sen. James Lankford offered an amendment to increase the limit to $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for married couples, but it was not adopted.)
While much more is included in the bill than we have listed here, we hope you find this summary informative and helpful. This is most certainly a challenging time in the history of our nation, for every family, business and industry. As we trust in the Lord day by day, may we also do all that we can to help “flatten the curve” and keep America safe.
You have no doubt heard of President Trump’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread initiative. Americans are asked to help contain the coronavirus by practicing social distancing, good hygiene and avoiding discretionary travel. The president’s 15-day initiative is in effect through Tuesday, March 31. We hope you will join us in heeding the president’s recommendations to help keep Americans safe.
Thank you for reading, and for standing with us in faith during this trying time!
Vice President of Strategy
In general, I have been personally pleased and encouraged here in Rhode Island by the actions taken by our Governor, Gina Raimondo. She is leaving open the possibility of a state “shelter in place” if necessary, but is emphasizing strict, voluntary social distancing and self-quarantining to avoid that. Her reasoning, though some may disagree, is to “maintain some semblance of an economy” so businesses and ultimately families can ride out the COVID-19 crisis. If Rhode Islanders continue to act responsibly, our efforts will be rewarded.
Rhode Island COVID-19 stats support the governor’s actions. At this point, our virus cases have been modest in number with no deaths reported as I write. Another thing to watch are the numbers being reported in New York City, as many New Yorkers have summer homes in our state. So, we must remain vigilant. Our stats are minimal compared to other states, despite Rhode Island being the second-most densely populated state (second only to New Jersey). Rhode Island has 1,022 residents per square mile. Yet, despite our size, social distancing is possible.
What does make things difficult is that our state is known for its many restaurants, pubs, entertainment places and hospitality businesses. Most of these are under severe restrictions but can still function minimally with take-out, drive-up and delivery service. There are also 12 degree-granting institutions in Rhode Island, including two research universities, a community college, and a school of art. This is a lot of employees and students from all over the world.
The governor thanked a lot of people for their help, but she neglected to recognize and thank the churches in Rhode Island. We are helping with material goods as well as spiritual and emotional support. I was on a Zoom meeting this past week with 90+ pastors and staff members. All were sharing ways to stay connected and meet the many needs of people all around us. People are shopping for those at risk, sharing meals and finding creative ways to be Christ’s hands and feet.
At times like these, we want our state to be a place where God is Honored, Religious Freedom Flourishes, Families Thrive and Life is Cherished.
Chairman – Board of Advisors – Rhode Island
I rushed to an office supply store to purchase ink before Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay at home” order canceling gatherings and closing all non-essential businesses went into effect. The store had implemented social distancing policies by taping red squares near the checkout counter to prohibit customers from standing too close to one another. Despite some retail stores proactively implementing safety measures, many are now closed because of their non-essential status. The governor did allow what his administration considers essential businesses to remain open, but they must follow his policy of keeping people at least six feet away from others.
But there is one industry that is refusing to comply – the abortion industry. It is appalling that these abortion facilities are considered by the Murphy administration to be essential. As normal, our state government has made an allowance for those who profit off the destruction of human life. Informed medical consent laws and parental consent laws do not apply to the abortion industry in NJ. Apparently, neither do social distancing guidelines.
According to state media, the Governor has been irate that people have been disregarding his “stay at home” order by continuing their social gatherings and thereby increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially in close spaces. To more effectively enforce public safety, Attorney General Gurbir Singh Grewal has said, “[T]here will be criminal consequences. . .The time for warnings is over. And the time to ensure compliance by using all of the tools available to us is here.” This includes up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in prison.
This past Saturday, the Pilgrim Medical Center abortion clinic in Montclair, NJ, had 49 women plus companions crammed into their small space – a clear violation of social distancing safeguards that essential businesses must follow. This is just another example of the abortion industry putting its bottom line above all else, including public safety amid a pandemic!
Governor Phil Murphy and his administration are to blame for risking the spread of COVID-19 at abortion clinics across this state. Therefore, we must contact the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judith M. Persichilli, and express our disappointment and concern for these women who are at a higher risk of exposure in these tight spaces.
In protection of life,
Director of Advocacy
How much news coverage has there been on the coronavirus in the past few weeks? I’d be interested to know the number of hours spent telling the American people about the virus, explaining social distancing, telling us how to wash our hands, how to “flatten the curve”, etc. Much of this information is very necessary and good, helping us to contain this pandemic, and I hope you are following the guidelines. On the other hand, there has been an incredible amount of speculation, “overcoverage”, and experts who provide conflicting messages to all of us. As a result, fear rules the day for most Americans.
In response, I could provide you verse after verse from the Bible that says God watches over his children and we have nothing to fear, but I’m not going to do that. We all know that truth, believe it, and if Facebook is any indication, have already seen a meme with every one of these verses on it. We know that our Heavenly Father is sovereign, and He has a purpose for the coronavirus, even though it’s impossible to see right now.
What I am going to do is try and focus on the positive. I really appreciate that Governor Burgum in his press conferences (4pm every day on local TV stations) mentions some things you can do during this time at home. He is truly trying to help North Dakotans make the best of it. Here are a few more ideas.
Don’t spend the whole day watching the news! I guarantee you’ll live in fear. Tune in to perhaps just the presidential and North Dakota briefings to get the facts and then call it good.
Don’t spend the whole day on social media! While social media can provide a lot of helpful information and resources, it can quickly turn into an intellectual cesspool during times like these. Always consider the source and their motivation. “I was told by …”, should be a red flag for all of us.
Spend time engaged in helping your children learn. I realize that for many of you this has just become nonoptional, but consider this. When was the last time you sat down and actually taught something to your children that made their eyes grow wide with amazement? Make it happen, then treasure the moment.
Call a loved one, particularly if they are in the high-risk group. It’s easy for people to feel alone and have to deal with depression during a time like this. A phone call can mean the world to them and let them simply know you love them.
Get out for walks or other exercise. Since our son Chris is now working from home, he and I can take walks outside, chat, and break up the monotony of sheltering in our home. Plus, there’s the calorie and cardio benefits, right?
Do something you’ve been putting off. Change the oil in the car, do some heavy-duty spring cleaning, prepare some meals and freeze them for emergency purposes, do that home repair you’ve been putting off, and so on.
Other things: Read a book, do a puzzle, watch a movie, learn a new language, play a board game, go online and learn a new skill or craft, play an instrument, organize your closet, play with your pet and/or take them outside, and the list goes on.
Let’s make the best of this that we possibly can. Having spare time is a luxury most of us in our country rarely get. As the saying goes, seize the moment! Live in the “now”.
Please be assured that Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is not shut down. We may be spending much more time on the phone than in person, but we are still working to ensure North Dakota remains a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support, and know that you and all North Dakotans are in our prayers as well.
President and Executive Director
Most of us have heard the news that the coronavirus is overwhelming healthcare systems in many countries. In fact, this is the main reason for the “social distancing” requirement, to slow the spread of the virus so that our hospitals and healthcare clinics can keep up with the number of patients.
A few days ago, President Trump and the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force “urge[d] every American and every American hospital and healthcare facility to postpone any elective medical procedures.” The rapid spread of COVID-19 threatens lack of bed space, medical equipment, and hospital capacity for many American hospitals. To prevent the shortages from becoming critical, it is vital that healthcare providers come together to cancel all elective hospital procedures (procedures that can be scheduled ahead of time because they are not an emergency) to free up capacity for Americans suffering from the coronavirus.
But there is one industry that is refusing to comply – the abortion industry.
Planned Parenthood has declared it will continue to provide abortions as “essential and life-affirming” care now, when women need it most, apparently. Elective abortion procedures are not, by definition, a medical necessity. Without intervention, a pregnancy will normally carry on to its natural conclusion – the birth of a baby. This is just another example of the abortion industry putting its bottom line above all else.
Several states have already followed the White House’s request and prohibited elective abortions from taking place in their states. As of today, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Ohio have declared that all elective procedures should be stopped. So far Texas and Ohio have clarified this means abortion clinics must stop their work.
During a time when the cases of COVID-19 are dramatically increasing across the nation, and healthcare facilities risk running out of masks, gloves, gowns, and real life-saving medical equipment like ventilators, no facility with medical equipment should defy White House and state executive directives just to bolster their bottom line.
We thank all those who are putting their lives on the line daily during this crisis to keep us well. We need to be doing all we can to rally our communities and encourage our medical community during this time. This includes working to protect those on the front lines fighting the coronavirus from the powerful abortion lobby. Will you join us?
For life —both in and out of the womb,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Infectious Diseases, has become a household name and face in these uncertain times. His daily commentaries in TV media interviews and Presidential press conferences reassures many that the federal government’s approach to mitigating the impact of the coronavirus is unprecedented and comprehensive. In his expert opinion, gained from thirty-five years of medical and scientific experience, he believes that the government’s extreme measures in interfering with the spread of the coronavirus will lessen the impact, flatten the curve, and control the outbreak.
“Although you can’t predict accurately, the way you interfere with that and not only diminish the peak of the curve but even perhaps the duration depends on the effectiveness in which you do the kinds of controls that we’ve been talking about, the containment and the mitigation,” Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In NJ, Governor Murphy has closed all public schools to interfere with spread of the virus. Students being contained to their homes decreases the likelihood the coronavirus will spread.
This intentional strategy to interfere with the spread of the coronavirus should also be used over the next few weeks by parents to interfere with the spread of post-Christian beliefs that your child might unknowingly pick up in a normal school setting. For many parents, having students at home during this time presents unique challenges. However, it is a unique opportunity for parents to be even more engaged in the curriculum and lessons their children are learning. Don’t let it go to waste! This is a great chance for parents to counteract and contain any influence that contradicts their faith.
According to Barna Research, families have a greater influence on their child’s worldview than schools. Furthermore, a person’s belief system is well formed by the age of 13.
I want to encourage you to use the resources below to help use this time to educate, train and talk to your students about what they are learning. For families that home school their children throughout the school year, please encourage others in your faith community with practical steps to help ease the burden and stress.
Let’s make NJ better,
Director of Advocacy
Educational Resources for Parents*
- Focus on the Family has a very large library of resources, books, and DVD’s for parents providing home education.
- National Geographic Kids and Scholastic have videos, articles, books, and educational games and experiments for kids covering a variety of topics including science, math, and history.
- Outschool.com provides free online classes
- prodigygame.com provides free math lessons and skill boosting activities), and
- khanacademy.org provides free personalized courses covering all the core subjects from first grade to high school and beyond.
*Disclaimer: The educational resources mentioned here do not indicate an official endorsement by Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey.
Bare shelves. Closed stores. Self-isolation. It sounds like the start of a scary movie, but as you and I both know, in 2020 it just means one thing: COVID-19.
As America puts life on hold, here are three things to be grateful for:
- More time with your family. Schools are closing, and businesses are converting many employees to temporary work-from-home arrangements. This is a great opportunity to invest in quality time with your family that you might not otherwise get! If you’re wondering how to make school work for your newly-homeschool kiddos, check out these resources.
- We don’t live in a country with government-run health care. Some politicians, such as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to call for government-run health care. But in countries that have these systems, the virus may reveal underlying problems.Take the UK, for example, where the National Health Service has cancelled all elective (non-urgent) operations, in order to free up hospital beds. While some US hospitals are beginning to take similar approaches, this is a more unusual measure in our country and reveals how seriously we are taking the virus. In the UK, this is commonplace: the government has cancelled tens of thousands of operations in a single flu season.Meanwhile, in Italy, the government recently began making tough calls: who gets treatment, and who doesn’t? In a close call, the person with the longer life-expectancy will win out. This could mean denying care to those who are especially sick, elderly, or weak. Yet this is not what we are called to do as Christians: Scripture commands us to “defend” the cause of the weak (Psalm 82:3).News reports reveal that part of Italy’s rationing comes down to a lack of equipment, including ventilators that are critical in treating COVID-19. This is unsurprising for a government-run system: such systems often have fewer medical devices on hand in comparison with our own system. For example, while the US has around 170,000 ventilators available, the UK has only 5,000. Putting that in perspective, the US has just over 1 ventilator per 2,000 people, while the UK has just less than 1 ventilator per 13,000 people.
You may hear we still don’t have enough capacity. That’s why we can be grateful for the precautions our officials have already taken. Self-isolation is a chance not only to protect ourselves from illness, but to limit the impact on the health system, and – importantly – to protect those most susceptible to the virus.
- We serve a good God. At a time that may feel uncertain, we can be grateful that we serve a God who is in control at all times and who works all things together for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose. We can rejoice in His goodness, pray for wisdom for those in authority, and defend the weakest in our community by following health guidelines. Rather than being a time to fear, this is a time to celebrate the opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to rest in God’s goodness.
Here’s to a joyful self-isolation!
Policy and Communications Strategist
Just a week ago, we were celebrating some major wins in the Wyoming legislature where we were able to protect babies born alive and make sure that our tax dollars would not be used to fund abortions. Since then, the conversation has changed most dramatically. With constant talk of COVID-19 spreading across the planet, we have seen the extremes of human behavior in ways that boggle the mind. It is interesting what matters.
I find it fascinating what some people hold dear. The “Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020” will go down in the history books as one of the strangest cases of misplaced priorities in consumer history and sociologists will be studying it for years to come.
One of the more horrifying misplaced priorities is that of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, trying to push her radical abortion agenda into an emergency funding bill aimed at helping citizens cope with health issues and unemployment insurance. Speaker Pelosi tried to amend the COVID-19 related legislation to remove the Hyde Amendment, which for decades has ensured that our tax money would not go to the killing of babies in the womb.
Thankfully, pro-life Congressional Leadership, like our own Liz Cheney, spotted this effort and worked hard to remove it from the bill. The exploitation of fear in this way is one of the most disturbing episodes in the sad history of those who believe that society has the right to kill its most vulnerable citizens.
Yet, Speaker Pelosi has continued her efforts and introduced a different bill that would accomplish her reprehensible objectives.
Even in the midst of this crisis, I am asking you to contact our Congressional delegation and encourage them to oppose any effort to allow taxpayer funding of abortions through the Speaker Pelosi’s exploitation of the COVID-19 crisis.
I thank you, our ministry partners, for engaging when asked to help. This means financially, through prayer, and through Action Alerts. This is your chance to engage through the latter. You can send this important message to our congressmen in seconds, through our Action Center.
All three of our members of Congress have been strong pro-life advocates in DC, ever since they were elected, for which we are extremely thankful. Let’s make sure they know this life vote also really matters to Wyomingites!
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump launched a 15-day national effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19. (The details can be found at the bottom of this email.) Locally, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state leaders have also taken steps to curb the spread and assist those directly impacted by the virus.
This is what you need to know:
HEALTH & SENIOR SERVICES
The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging all New Mexicans to practice social distancing and to stay home, especially if you are sick. If you exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19—such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath—please call your healthcare provider or the COVID-19 hotline immediately at 1-855-600-3453.
Seniors in need of healthcare, meals, or medical transportation should call 1-800-432-2080.
EDUCATION & CHILDCARE
Last week, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that K-12 public schools would close for three weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Schools and USDA-approved meal sponsors are now employing efforts to continue feeding children. Many school cafeterias will remain open and workers will prepare meals that parents or students can grab and go at specified times. Other districts are arranging delivery by school bus or National Guard to students in remote areas. The newmexico.gov website is being updated in real time. Families can click on the “Information About Education” tab for a list of sites that will provide breakfast and lunch to students between March 16 and April 6.
To help families find child care, the state has established a Child Care Resource and Referral line at 1-800-691-9067. Families can also contact the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to let them know they need full-time care. In addition, all parents receiving child care assistance will have their copays waived during the public health emergency.
JOBS & THE ECONOMY
This week, the state extended eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits to workers affected by COVID-19. To file a claim, impacted workers can visit jobs.state.nm.us or call 1-877-664-6984.
The state of New Mexico has also adjusted its business loan guarantee programs in order to make capital available to business owners whose operations are severely impacted by COVID-19. Information on the programs is available on the COVID Business Assistance page on the EDD website.
We hope this information helps!
If there is one thing we can be certain of—it is that our God is still on the throne. We all know “this too shall pass” and to that end, we will continue to pray and trust in Him as we anxiously await the brighter days which lie ahead.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our vision is a state and nation where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. And though we find ourselves in challenging times such as these, we will never waiver in our efforts to turn that vision into reality.
On that note, and on behalf of my family, thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. They mean more to us than words can express.
God bless you,
President and Executive Director
I find it gratifying to see how Americans, and more specifically North Dakotans, are banding together to deal with the current coronavirus pandemic. It’s truly encouraging to see neighbors helping neighbors, individuals and communities working to protect the elderly and others in high risk groups, and governmental agencies putting aside differences to work together to address this pressing issue. However, not everyone is onboard. In fact, one person is exploiting this situation for her own benefit and fundamentally sacrificing some American lives for the sake of others. That person is Representative Nancy Pelosi.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was using the coronavirus crisis to seek funding to take more lives through abortions. Pelosi’s coronavirus plan included a billion-dollar funding stream with a provision that would have excluded the Hyde Amendment, which has protected against taxpayer funding of abortions for decades. It would have meant that your and my tax dollars would fund the killing of innocent preborn infants.
The good news is that White House negotiators discovered the provision, and along with pro-life House leaders, successfully fought to remove it from the bill late Thursday. The bad news is that Speaker Pelosi is now pushing a separate bill that will do the same thing.
While Representative Pelosi disagrees with nearly every biblical value you and I hold dear, I find this particular action of hers to be truly contemptible. She is capitalizing on Americans’ fears by trying to sneak through a radical measure to exclude longstanding pro-life protections. But perhaps most importantly, she is willing to end the lives of some Americans by trading them for others. She is playing God.
Her new bill could come before the U.S. House of Representatives soon, and your voice to Congress is needed! Please contact our members of Congress, Representative Armstrong and Senators Hoeven and Cramer, to urge them to oppose any effort to allow taxpayer funding of abortions through Speaker Pelosi’s exploitation of this pandemic situation.
I regularly thank you, our ministry partners, for engaging when asked to help. This means financially, through prayer, and through Action Alerts. This is your chance to engage through the latter. You can send this important message to our congressmen in seconds, through our Action Center.
All three of our members of Congress have been strong pro-life advocates in DC, ever since they were elected, for which we are extremely thankful. Let’s make sure they know this life vote also really matters to North Dakotans!
President and Executive Director