Guthrie Votes for CARES Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) today voted for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“During the last two weeks I have spoken to many Kentucky residents who have been struggling since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Guthrie. “From current COVID-19 patients and their families, to small business owners who lost their income suddenly, this pandemic has hit everyone. The CARES Act will ease the burden for Kentuckians by providing direct economic relief to those who need it most. The bill also helps those suffering from this terrible disease and helps the hospitals and providers be better equipped to handle and help COVID-19 patients. I was proud to vote for the CARES Act, and I look forward to President Trump signing it into law.”
The CARES Act will provide American families with a tax rebate credit to help with cover expenses during this time, boost unemployment benefits, help small businesses continue to pay their employees, and provide additional funding for health care including funding for health care providers, funding for the strategic stockpile to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other medical supplies.
The CARES Act passed by voice vote in the House. The CARES Act passed in the Senate on Wednesday, March 25, and is expected to be signed into law today by President Trump.
See below for a full legislative breakdown of the CARES Act:
Relief to American Families:
· This comes in the form of a one-time tax rebate check of $1,200 per individual and $500 per child for those with a valid SSN. There are no earned income or tax liability requirements to receive these rebate checks. The full rebate amount is available for those with incomes at or below $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples. Payments are phased out above those thresholds until it is phased out completely for single taxpayers with incomes exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers. Most payments will be delivered through direct deposit if you used this for your federal tax return last year; otherwise most individuals will be mailed a check to your last address on file.
· Significantly boosts unemployment insurance benefits, expanding eligibility and offering certain workers an additional $600 a week for four months, on top of what state unemployment programs pay, and allow certain Americans four months-worth of their income if they are furloughed or lose their job due to COVID-19. And creates an employee retention tax credit to incentivize businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis.
· Paycheck Protection: The bill creates a new “paycheck protection program” through the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) Loan Program for small employers, self-employed individuals, and “gig economy” workers, with $350 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Paycheck Protection Program” would provide 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Interest rates of 4% do apply. If the employer maintains payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to recover quickly from this crisis. This proposal would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, 501(c)(3)s with less than 500 employees will be eligible. Businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. The max loan amount will be capped at $10 million or 2.5 times the average monthly payroll based on the prior year’s payroll. Built into the new paycheck protection loans will be automatic deferrals of principal, interest, and fees for 6 months.
· Small Business Contractors Also Get Protection: Federal agencies would be required to extend contract performance periods and promptly pay small business contractors impacted by COVID-19.
· Debt Relief: For six months, SBA is required to pay all principal, interest and fees on all existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs for six months.
· Provides Another Option for Employers to Keep Connected to Their Employees: Employers of all sizes that face closure orders or suffer economic hardship due to the coronavirus crisis that continue to pay employees that are furloughed may be eligible for a 50% credit on up to $10,000 of wages paid to those employees. This will help workers keep their jobs, help local businesses ride out this storm, and ensure that furloughed workers have jobs to return to.
· Delays Payroll Tax Payments for Employers: Employers would be able to delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022, leading to approximately $300 billion of extra cash flow for businesses
· Ensures that all tests for COVID-19 are covered with no out of pocket costs.
· Ensures that providers and labs supplying COVID-19 testing and related services charge fair and transparent rates.
· Requires a COVID-19 vaccine to be covered with no out of pocket costs no later than 15 business days after a United States Preventive Task Force rating of A or B or a recommendation of coverage from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control.
· Grants DOL authority to give health, retirement, and disability plans additional time to comply with deadlines, such as COBRA continuation coverage, special enrollment, claims for benefits, appeals of denied claims, and external review of certain claims.
· Provides additional funding for states, hospitals, providers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), education, and disaster relief.