Brooks Supports Third Coronavirus Relief Package
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) provided the following statement after the House passed H.R. 785, the CARES Act in a voice vote:
"The American people need help now, and this legislation will deliver that crucial help to families and businesses across America, which is why I flew to DC to vote in favor of this legislation. The coronavirus is the worst pandemic in a century. This landmark legislation is the single largest relief package ever passed by Congress in our nation’s history. It will not only provide stability to our economy, but it will also supply much needed funding to help businesses retain employees and provide direct economic and healthcare assistance to Americans who need it most. Lives are on the line and every minute counts.
“I am pleased many of my requests were added into this legislation, including language which dramatically improves the ability of HHS and the FDA to monitor and protect our nation’s medical device and pharmaceutical supply chains. I have been focused on the weaknesses of these supply chains for a long time, and am proud to have fought for these provisions that protect Americans.
“The CARES Act also includes another one of my provisions that is especially important for Hoosiers, providing significant expansions to telehealth services throughout the country and particularly for rural areas. These changes temporarily eliminate the need for a pre-existing provider relationship and will allow patients to receive their care from home without exposing themselves to further illness.”
Payments to Americans
- All adults with a valid Social Security number with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) will get a $1,200 ($2,400 for joint filers) "rebate" payment. They are also eligible for an additional $500 per child.
- The payments would start phasing out for earners above those income thresholds and would not go to single filers earning more than $99,000; head-of-household filers with one child, more than $146,500; and more than $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
- Many payments will be sent out automatically to individuals based on filed tax returns from 2019.
- Establishes a Payment Protection Program which will provide $350 billion for full federally guaranteed loans covering 8 weeks of assistance to small businesses, independent contractors, 501(c)3 nonprofits, and others.
- For businesses in need of a loan ranging in amount from $350,000 to $1 million, SBA Express Loans will be available. The application process for the SBA Express Loans will require less paperwork and documentation, allowing SBA to get the much-needed financial support to businesses quicker.
- Program enrollees will also be eligible to have an automatic deferral of payments for a six-month period, during with the SBA will pay principal, interest, and fees on all SBA loan products.
- Loans used to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities can be forgiven.
- Mandated that Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grants be made available to businesses during the response to the Coronavirus Outbreak.
- These loans must be applied to cover leave, maintain payroll, and pay debt obligations.
- Business will be able to receive both EIDL funds and a Paycheck Protection loan in limited certain instances
- The bill provides additional benefits to each recipient of unemployment insurance for up to four months and an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits after state benefits are no longer available. For people who were employed on March 1 and have lost their job due to coronavirus, the bill provides paid leave for them as well.
- It expands unemployment benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others.
Exchange Stabilization Fund
- Allocates $500 billion to what is called an Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF), a fund designed to serve as an emergency reserve fund that allows the Treasury Secretary the authority to distribute the funds to businesses of all sizes and places numerous requirements on how they can be used.
- $46 billion has been set aside to assist airlines and other businesses critical to the economic strength and defense capabilities of the nation.
- These funds are designed to ensure the liquidity of our financial institutions and keep to credit flowing within the business sector.
- Provides the Secretary of Education the additional waiver authority needed to allow school districts around the country can continue to address the needs of all students during this challenging time.
- Allows the Administration to waive requirements that states must conduct mandatory testing in math, reading, and science.
- Schools will also be given increased flexibility in how they use block grant funding, allowing them the funds to be used to technology and other costs related to Coronavirus recovery.
- College students will be eligible to receive direct financial relief by pausing their monthly student loan payments for up to 6 months.
- Additionally, the bill will pause collections on most federal student loans through September 20, 2020.
- The bill mandates that students will not be penalized for the mid-semester interruption, and that they will be given the ability to continue class in the future without penalty.
- Students will also not be liable financially for aid distributed to them when the Coronavirus response measures forced them to drop-out mid-term.
- Provides $16 billion in additional funding to support SNAP beneficiaries.
- Provides $9 billion for child nutrition programs.
- Prioritizes assistance for low-income households with $12.4 billion in new funding for Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) programs.
- Additionally, the CARES Act provides much needed protection to both homeowners and renters from foreclosure and evictions during this outbreak.
- The CARES Act has been carefully created to extend regulatory relief to banks and credit unions, in order to keep them lending and serving American consumers and businesses. These measures will provide additional support for consumers with mortgages, student, and auto loans, and to small businesses who need loans to pay their employees.
- Suspends the Troubled Debt Restructuring classifications on loans, allowing credit unions, and community banks to further work to help their borrowers on loan modifications for outstanding loans.
- Requires the FDA to expedite the approval process for relevant drugs during the ongoing national emergency.
- Requires insurers to cover COVID-19 vaccines.
- $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers to help them provide needed care during the pandemic.
- Provides $27 billion for the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response to develop services, vaccines, technologies, and health infrastructure to continue to combat the Pandemic and future infectious diseases.
- Community health center will receive $1.32 billion in supplemental funding.
- Includes $200 million for FCC telehealth services and greatly expands coverage for telehealth services.
- Temporarily lifts Medicare sequester cuts to hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, home health, and other care.
- Increases Medicare payments to hospitals for treating a patient admitted for COVID-19.
- I was able to get a provision included in the bill that will help ensure the Strategic National Stockpile will be better able to track the U.S. medical supply chain and determine how to avoid future shortages or vulnerabilities in critical medical equipment.
Click here, to watch my full remarks on the House Floor.