House passes $ 2 trillion coronavirus relief package with benefits for music workers

The bill also establishes an additional $ 75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, with 60% of the funds dedicated to direct grants to nonprofits and other eligible beneficiaries to respond to the coronavirus. The remaining 40% will go to state and regional arts councils.

Music industry executives applaud the legislation, which builds on last week’s Coronavirus Response for Families Act – a bill that has excluded many self-employed workers from unemployment benefits and other provisions.

“The Recording Academy thanks the leaders of Congress who have worked with the music community to develop a bill that allows music to play,” said the acting president of the Recording Academy. Harvey Mason Jr. “As we navigate this unprecedented crisis, all professionals in the music industry in the United States, many of whom depend on multiple concerts for a living, can be thankful for having participated in this extraordinary effort to help Americans. We will now turn our attention to Helping Music Creators and others who make a living in our industry navigate the process of getting the financial help they need while anticipating the day when they will be able to make a living. again providing the soundtrack to our nation, which we will all need when this crisis is over. ”

Said the President and CEO of the RIAA Mitch glazier: “We commend President Pelosi, Chief McCarthy, Senate leaders and the administration for their hard work in pushing through this legislation, which includes direct financial assistance to Americans in need, including musicians facing difficult circumstances. unique during this national emergency.

“We are grateful that this bill contains access to expanded unemployment insurance and small business loans, both of which will allow hundreds of thousands of musician families across the country to continue paying their bills. , to put food on the table and take care of their children during this health and economic crisis, ”continued Glazier. “We applaud the federal government for taking this step to care for the millions of people in our country who desperately need it. “

President / CEO of SoundExchange Michel Huppe noted that “In these difficult times, so many people are turning to music for help. And yet, due to the widespread cancellation of festivals, concerts and public gatherings of all types, this national crisis has been particularly devastating for music creators. “I am proud of our industry’s joint efforts to ensure that the financial assistance offered under the CARES Act reaches everyone in the music community. Because we speak like one. alone, our voices were heard louder than ever. ”

President SAG-AFTRA Gabrielle Carteris said: “This emergency stimulus package contains some key elements that will apply to our members, including higher weekly unemployment benefits, extended weeks of unemployment benefits, a single check for every American and their children. under a certain annual income, and a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program for those who are not currently eligible for unemployment, such as independent contractors. “

president / president of ASCAP Paul williams added: “” In difficult times like these, we remember how music unites us, and we are grateful that all parties have joined in solidarity to help all those affected by this crisis, especially our community of songwriters and composers who bring so much joy to the ASCAP will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that American music creators can weather this storm and continue to share their incredible talents with the world. “

And CEO of ASCAP Elizabeth matthews echoed this statement, saying, “We are grateful for the support given to the millions of American songwriters and music makers whose lives and livelihoods have been turned upside down by this crisis. In particular, music creators who are self-employed and those who own or work for small businesses will now receive emergency assistance, through the mobilization of the music community to draw attention to their needs. As the entire music industry faces an uncertain future, ASCAP stands ready to do its part to help music creators through these difficult times.

Chairman and CEO of SESAC John josephson said that “it is our collective responsibility to protect our music creators” in the midst of the pandemic. “They not only remained committed to their craft of making music during this unprecedented time, but also provided a sense of unity, connection and passion, which will only strengthen our nation in the days to come.” , he explained. The bill “is essential to recharging the economy while relieving so many American businesses and workers, and we are delighted that some provisions will include relief for many music professionals who are independent contractors, owners of music. small businesses or self-employed “.

President / CEO of BMI Mike O’Neill specifically thanked “Senator Blackburn, German Representative, Representative Roby, Majority Leader Hoyer and the many music organizations involved in this effort, for their unwavering dedication to ensuring that the needs of American music creators are met in this critical law, ”he said. “We applaud Congress for swift action on this important legislation and look forward to President Trump’s signing so that this aid can begin to flow to all in the music industry, and beyond, who want it. desperately need it. “

Update 9:30 p.m .: This story has been updated to reflect that President Donald Trump signed the bill after it passed the House of Representatives.

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