KX EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Representative Kelly Armstrong talks CARES Act and relief for North Dakotans

April 14, 2020
In The News

U.S. Representative Kelly Armstrong joined Good Day Dakota to talk about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), which will provide $2 trillion in economic aid to individuals and businesses impacted by the coronavirus public health emergency.

Phase III, of the CARES Act the largest economic relief package in American history to provide direct relief to individuals, small businesses, the health care system, state and local governments, and essential industries severely impacted by the current economic downturn. This money is also intended to help low- and middle-income Americans make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.

Armstrong explained that the first direct deposits went out on Saturday, April 11th and that 80 million Americans will be getting their stimulus payments this week. The IRS has opened their Stimulus Check Portal where Americans can check the status of your payment. Armstrong explained that paper checks will take longer so he encourages people to go to the online portal.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a forgivable loan program, administered by the Small Business Administration. It will help enable small businesses and self-employed individuals, including farmers and ranchers cover expenses and pay their workers. Armstrong explained that it’s critical for farmers and ranchers to apply for the PPP program because it directly impacts America’s food supply chain and the agrarian way of life for many North Dakatans.

Armstrong went onto for further explain that an important portion of this funding, $14 billion, is allocated as additional funding authority for the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation. The CCC funds were used to make the 2018 and 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments, as well as to fund other USDA programs. The aid package also authorizes an additional $9.5 billion emergency fund that is targeted toward dairy and livestock producers, fruit and vegetable growers, and fresh food markets. As a Congressional delegate of the CARES Act Task Force, Armstrong explained that his work to ensure that North Dakota’s $10 billion agriculture industry cannot stop as it is the foundation of the state’s economy.

Finally, Armstrong assured North Dakotans that we will get through this difficult period, and North Dakota is no stranger to enduring lean times.

“I’m just heartened by all the different things going on in communities across the state. You can go on social media and read all the negative stuff, and trust me there’s plenty, but just about every community has neighbors helping neighbors, community forums, people doing what they can to help their neighbors out, it’s just the North Dakota way. This too will pass and we will come out on the other side of this,” explained Armstrong.

To learn more about the CARES Act and get updates on how North Dakota’s leaders are preparing Phase IV of the historic stimulus package, click here.