Webster Statement on Senate Cares Act
March 26, 2020
Webster Statement on Senate Cares ActAssistance for Workers and Small Businesses is On Its Way
Washington, DC – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, R-Clermont, today released the following statement on the Senate’s coronavirus response bill.
“When an enemy invades our country and essentially shuts down our free market and removes hardworking Americans ability to work, we have a responsibility to act. This bill is not perfect - a portion of the funding is unnecessary – but most of it provides critical resources for hard working Americans, small businesses and our healthcare providers and facilities as we battle this hidden enemy. Our citizens and businesses need this assistance because of decisions made by state and local governments, as well as adherence to guidance from the CDC to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect those most vulnerable in our society, and prevent healthcare facilities from becoming overwhelmed. It is for these reasons that I support this bill.
“These are tough times, these are unprecedented times, but it is in these times when we see the beauty of American ingenuity and community spirit. Americans are uniting together to serve each other. Young people are helping our seniors get groceries; private companies are voluntarily retooling their factories and production lines to produce millions of additional N-95 masks, ventilators and more. Actions like these, coupled with following the advice of the experts at CDC to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus will help our country get through this and come back better and stronger than ever.”
Highlights of the CARES Act
- Help for Hardworking Americans
- A tax rebate of $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per eligible child. This rebate is reduced for higher income earners, starting at $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples. It phases out completely for individuals earning $99,000 or more and married couples earning above $198,000. This advance tax credit will be in the mail to millions of hardworking Americans in the coming weeks. Those who have no tax liability – like many seniors on Social Security – will also receive this credit in the form of a check, direct deposit or debit card.
- Expanded unemployment benefits for those who have lost their job due to this pandemic. Eligibility includes self-employed and contracted workers.
- Assistance for Small Businesses
- Loans that provide “paycheck protection” to enable and encourage small businesses to keep employees on payroll.
- Additional funding for existing Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan programs.
- Debt relief that requires the SBA 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.
- Access to Healthcare
- Increased Medicare reimbursement for providers serving our seniors and expansion of telemedicine.
- FDA is empowered to quickly approve use of new medicines and treatment.
- Robust funding for COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic development and the guarantee these treatments will be made available at no cost once developed.
- Funding to help states, cities and localities fight the pandemic; to support healthcare workers in hospitals, particularly rural hospitals; to purchase PPE and for the Strategic National Stockpile to stockpile needed swabs and other critical items
- Help for Harmed Industries
- Loans and grants for passenger and cargo airlines, and businesses critical to “maintaining national security.” To receive these funds, these industries must cap executive compensation for the duration of the assistance period and stock buybacks are prohibited during the duration of the loan. Borrowers must also maintain exiting payroll as of March 13.
- Additional funds through loans, loan guarantees, investments and more flexibility for banks and credit unions to provide businesses, states and municipalities with access to liquidity.