Getting Cash to American Families, Businesses during coronavirus crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Cotton (R-Arkansas) introduced a series of bills today to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus. The four bills each leverage existing government systems to surge cash to low- and middle-income Americans and struggling businesses.
After introducing the bills, Senator Cotton released the following statement.
'Low and middle-income Americans need help now-not in weeks or months. By using existing government programs to surge cash to struggling families and businesses, we can get them that assistance now. My bills will help our nation weather this storm so that we can emerge stronger than ever on the other side.'
• Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Act Authorizes the Treasury Department to immediately cut a tax-rebate check of $1,000 for every adult tax filer making less than $100,000 per year and $500 for each claimed dependent. Married couples filing jointly that make less than $200,000 per year would be eligible for a $2,000 tax-rebate check.
Eligible filers would receive full rebate checks regardless of tax liability.
This would be a one-time payment. Treasury would use 2018 tax information to assess eligibility.
• Coronavirus TANF Expansion Act Provides Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states that temporarily broaden eligibility standards so that their programs apply to any family with children under 18 whose income has been reduced due to coronavirus and that earned less than 400% FPL last year.
This new class of eligibility would receive a one-time payment of at least $500 and no more than $1,000 per dependent; states would have flexibility within that guidance.
Temporarily waives work requirements for eligibility in the interest of public health.
• Coronavirus Unemployment Insurance Act Provides block grants to states that expand eligibility to cover: 1) cases where an individual's employer temporarily ceases operations due to coronavirus, 2) cases where an individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work and is not receiving pay due to the coronavirus emergency, and 3) cases where an individual must stop receiving pay in order to care for family members or dependents due to the emergency.
Reimburses states for 100% of the costs of the expansion.
Temporarily suspends requirements to seek work in the interest of public health.
Expansion would last until December 31, 2020 or the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first.
• Coronavirus Credit Expansion Act
Increases the cap on small-business disaster loans from $2 million to $20 million dollars, and funds programs.
Grants low-interest loans to businesses immediately, with penalties for fraudulent claims being 3x the amount of the loan.
Cotton and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) will tomorrow introduce the Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act, which would end U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing. The bill's key restrictions would go into effect in 2022 and have no impact on the current coronavirus pandemic. No FDA resources will be diverted to begin implementation. Specifically, the bill will:
• Track active pharmaceutical ingredients through an FDA registry.
• Prohibit pharmaceutical purchases from China or products with active pharmaceutical ingredients created in China.
• Create transparency in the supply chain by instituting a country of origin label of all imported drugs.
• Provide economic incentives for manufacturing drugs and medical equipment in the United States.
'The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to cut off America's access to vital drugs in the midst of a pandemic caused by its own failures. It's time to pull America's supply chains for life-saving medicine out of China and make the CCP pay for contributing to this global emergency,' said Cotton. 'The Chinese Communist Party's outrageous threats to withhold lifesaving drugs from the U.S. endangers public health and should open our eyes to our dangerous overreliance on China in our medical supply chain,' said Gallagher. 'This is a national security imperative that to many Americans, is a matter of life and death. It's past time for us to develop an aggressive plan to move critical pharmaceutical supply chains away from China.'
Senator Tom Cotton