Please find a brief note below from U.S. Senator Rob Portman regarding the Phase 3 COVID-19 package that passed the Senate 3/26/2020
I would like to provide you with an update on the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or “CARES Act” legislation that passed the Senate by a vote of 96-0 and will be signed into law.
We are facing an unprecedented crisis. In the best interest of the American people, we have effectively chosen to pump the brakes on our economy while we accelerate our public health response, significantly expand our testing capability, and develop a credible system of metrics to measure success in combating the coronavirus. Unfortunately that means that businesses of all sizes — small, medium, large — are having to either shutter their doors or slow down their production and lay off workers through no fault of their own. In an attempt to mitigate the economic hardship caused by this crisis, I’ve worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put together the CARES Act to provide some relief to the millions of Americans who have made our country and our economy the strongest in the world.
The CARES Act includes a number of important provisions to help workers, families, employers, and health professionals during this crisis. Specifically, the bill:
- Provides direct financial assistance to families in need, including $1,200 for individuals making less than $75,000 and $2,400 for couples making less than $150,000. Families with children will be eligible for an additional $500 per child;
- Includes a large temporary expansion in unemployment insurance benefits by adding a $600 per week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July, providing an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow, and expanding benefit eligibility to cover self-employed and independent contractors, government workers, and nonprofit employees;
- Provides $350 billion in small business loans for companies with under 500 employees that effectively become grants if those loans are used to keep workers on payroll, make rent and mortgage payments, or pay utilities;
- Includes $500 billion in immediate tax relief for businesses of all sizes, including provisions such as payroll tax deferral and the ability to immediately monetize tax losses;
- Creates a new fund established through the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to provide loans and loan guarantees to businesses and industries that have been particularly affected by the current crisis, such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, and nonprofits;
- Includes strong transparency and accountability safeguards for any company that accesses federal loans and creates a new federal inspector general to oversee these loans;
- Includes $150 billion for health care providers to support the nation’s hospitals, doctors and nurses;
- Provides $4.3 billion to support the CDC and state and local health departments as they identify every potential case;
- Provides accelerated payment opportunities for hospitals supporting vulnerable populations like children’s hospitals, rural hospitals, and specialty cancer hospitals like Ohio State’s The James, to help them maintain cash flows while they voluntarily suspend elective procedures to conserve PPE for providers treating COVID-19 patients; and
- Provides $150 billion to support states and local governments that are impacted by the coronavirus to ensure they can continue to provide basic services for their citizens, including roughly $4.5 billion to Ohio.
I have attached a section-by-section summary of the bill as well as a copy of the legislative text, and if you have any specific questions or concerns, please let me or my staff know.