Walorski Supports Immediate Economic Relief for Workers, Families, and Small Businesses
President Signs Bipartisan Legislation That Includes Direct Cash Assistance, Expanded Unemployment Insurance, Forgivable Small Business Loans
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on her support for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which passed the House by voice vote and was signed by President Trump:
“We are fighting against an invisible enemy, and together we will defeat it.
“Coronavirus and the steps necessary to stop it are having a devastating impact on our economy, and many of our friends and neighbors are suddenly facing hardship and uncertainty. Today, Congress took action to provide immediate relief to families, workers, and small businesses so they can get through this crisis and be even stronger when it’s over.
“The bipartisan CARES Act will provide every American, except the highest earners, with $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. It will make loans available to small businesses and non-profits to maintain payroll and cover expenses like rent – and these loans will be forgiven as long as employees keep their jobs. For workers who are laid off, the bill will temporarily expand unemployment insurance – including making it available to independent contractors and self-employed individuals. And it will provide critical resources for our nation’s hospitals, health care workers, and state and local response efforts so they can keep fighting coronavirus and keep our communities safe.”
Walorski released a video statement following House passage of the bill. The video is available here.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Relief for Workers and Families
- Immediate Relief for American Families – American workers and families will receive a one-time check or direct deposit of $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per couple, plus $500 per eligible child. These payments will be reduced for higher earners starting at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples. They phase out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples. Anyone with a valid Social Security number is eligible.
- Expanded Unemployment Insurance – The CARES Act includes $250 billion to temporarily expand unemployment benefits through the end of the year. It makes self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and others eligible for unemployment during the public health emergency. It also provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits beyond what states typically allow, and it adds $600 per week across the board for each recipient for four months from through the end of July.
Assistance for Small Businesses
- Paycheck Protection Program – The CARES Act provides $350 billion for forgivable loans to keep small businesses from going under and prevent workers from losing their jobs. These federally guaranteed loans will be available to small employers through private lenders to provide eight weeks of cash flow assistance to maintain payroll and pay rent. Independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and 501(c)3s are also eligible. If the employer maintains their payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven. There is also flexibility to rehire workers who have already been laid off.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit – The Employee Retention Credit provides a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages per employee (including health benefits) paid by certain employers during the coronavirus crisis.
- Additional Main Street Assistance – SBA will pay all principal, interest and fees on all existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs for six months. The bill provides grants and funding to offer training, counseling, and assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19. It provides $10 billion to expedite access to capital for small businesses that have applied for an SBA Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant. And it includes a tax reform technical correction to ensure businesses like restaurants can take advantage of full and immediate expensing for investments in improvements.
Industry Assistance to Stabilize Economy
- Economic Stabilization – The CARES Act Provides more than $500 billion of emergency relief in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and tax relief to those industries hit hardest by COVID-19. These loans are to be used to keep these job creators in business so they can keep workers on the payroll. In order to protect taxpayers, there are restrictions on executive compensation, stock buybacks are prohibited for the duration of the loan, and borrowers must maintain existing payroll.
Resources to Fight Coronavirus
- Support for Health Care Providers – The CARES Act gets more resources to health care providers quickly and expands access to care for patients. It increases Medicare reimbursement rate, including an add-on payment to hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, and allows for accelerated payments.
- Resources for Local and State Response – The bill provides $340 billion in funding to combat the pandemic, including $150 billion for state and local governments.
- Supplies for Health Care Workers – It provides $16 billion for personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other supplies to be distributed to the states. It expands testing capabilities by allowing the Strategic National Stockpile to purchase swabs necessary for test kits.
- Access Care for Patients – It boosts funding for research into new treatments and vaccines and allows the FDA to quickly approve the use of new medications. It facilitates the use of new and innovative telemedicine technology. And it allows HSAs to be used to purchase over-the-counter medicines.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.