Coronavirus Bulletin: Resources for Leading During the Crisis

March 17, 2020 — Coronavirus Bulletin   

Republicans are working with President Trump and the Administration to deliver relief and assistance to American workers, families, and small businesses who have been impacted by the global health crisis of the novel coronavirus.

CLICK HERE FOR FAQs ON THE PHASES I, II, & III CORONAVIRUS PACKAGES

Phase 1: $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Appropriations Bill (HR 6074 – SIGNED INTO LAW)

Phase 2: The Families First Coronavirus Response (“FFCRA”) Act (HR 6201 – SIGNED INTO LAW)

Phase 3: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) Act (HR 748 – PASSED)

Explainers and FAQs

ROLLING UPDATES:

4/9: Senate Democrats, Speaker Pelosi Block Worker and Small Biz Relief They’ve Praised

Senate Democrats are holding up funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which has become so popular in keeping workers on small business payrolls that it is quickly running out of money. The program was established as part of the CARES Act, which was passed unanimously and included billions for hospitals and health care workers on the front lines.

READ MORE HERE

4/9: Hope in Crisis: More Resources for Front-Line Workers

“Right now, businesses are rightly focused on helping on applying maximum pressure on the virus and survival,”said Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX). “That is exactly where they need to be.”

READ MORE HERE

4/9: Brady on Fox & Friends: “Our small businesses can’t wait.”

House Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Fox and Friends to talk about the need to approve the President’s call for $251 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program to help America’s small businesses.

READ MORE HERE 

 

4/8: Brady on MSNBC: “The President’s call for another $250 billion to make sure our small businesses can ride this out is crucial.”

Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Brian Williams and Katy Tur on MSNBC to talk about the Paycheck Protection Program and how the federal government is working to help Main Street businesses.

READ MORE HERE 

4/8: Supporting Doctors as They Fight COVID-19

Key points: 

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services posted a letter to America’s clinicians today outlining the federal actions that have taken place to help them defeat the novel coronavirus.
  • These actions—which build on Congressional legislation—will help doctors focus on what is most important: the patient’s health.

READ MORE HERE

4/7: Hope in Crisis: Vaccines and Virtual Bingo

In the face of global pandemic, Americans are stepping up to help our medical providers and neighbors. As Rep. Kevin Brady said: “Coronavirus has knocked at America’s door, and with it fear. Faith is answering.”

Here are examples of how Americans are stepping up across the country.

READ MORE HERE 

4/7: Quick Funding for Paycheck Protection Helps Hospitals, Workers, & Local Businesses

If Congress doesn’t act quickly, a special relief program that’s already helping workers across the country may run out of money.

America’s small businesses, nonprofits, small hospitals, and churches are turning to the Paycheck Protection Program in droves, with about $70 billion distributed in just the first few days – 1/5th of the total money available. The first-of-its-kind CARES Act program provides loans to cover rent, utilities, payroll and other expenses for organizations with less than 500 employees. In exchange for keeping employees on payroll (or rehiring employees laid off since the coronavirus pandemic struck), the loan will be forgiven.

READ MORE HERE

 

4/7: New Online Tool for Taxpayers to Learn and Report Scams Related to COVID-19 Relief Check

Key points:

  • The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has established a dedicated page where people can report coronavirus related tax scams.
  • This website also has tips for taxpayers to know what red flags to look for in potential scams.
  • This action is a reminder of the work already being done by agency inspectors general, oversight agencies, and congressional oversight committees. Democrats’ partisan calls for more red tape were intended to downplay the transparency and accountability measures already in place.

READ MORE HERE 

4/7: Brady: “No Delay This Time: Politics Can Wait, Small Businesses Can’t”

The Woodlands, TX – The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement urging the Senate to quickly pass more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

READ MORE HERE 

4/6: Hope in the Face of Crisis

Times are scary for billions of people. The White House expects this week to be the worst on record for the number of cases the United States will see for people testing positive for COVID-19.

Defeating the novel coronavirus is a global effort. And in the face of trial, non-profits, corporations, churches, and governments are all doing their part to help their neighbors and communities overcome this pandemic.

Here are a few examples of where Americans are innovating to help those around them.

READ MORE HERE

 

4/6: UPDATE: Americans Have Options for Health Care Insurance During Coronavirus Pandemic

UPDATE: The Trump Administration announced Friday they will be using a portion of funding from the bipartisan CARES Act to reimburse hospitals that treat uninsured patients for COVID-19 during the global pandemic.

READ MORE HERE 

4/4: Phase III Coronavirus Package // Paycheck Protection and Churches

Many church leaders have been curious about whether they qualify for the Paycheck Protection program. Below are answers to some common questions.

READ MORE HERE

 

4/3: As Economy Falters, Americans Have Options for Health Care Insurance

As Americans have to deal with an uncertain economic landscape, it’s important that they know they have options to access affordable, quality care, especially now that the CARES Act is law.

READ MORE HERE 

 

4/3:Brady: Relief in CARES Act vital to restoring lost jobs and America’s growth

The Woodlands, TX — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s report on weekly jobless claims

READ MORE HERE

 

4/2: More Flexibility for Small Business on Coronavirus Paid Leave

Small businesses are getting greater flexibility in the paid sick and family and medical leave mandate created in the “phase 2” coronavirus relief package  under new guidance issued this week.

READ MORE HERE 

 

4/2: Brady: As Job Losses Rise, CARES Law Will Help Keep Workers on Payroll

The Woodlands, TX — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s report on weekly jobless claims.

READ MORE HERE

4/2: Avoid Scams and Schemes Tied to Coronavirus Relief Checks

Key points: 

-Multiple federal agencies have issued warnings to taxpayers cautioning them to be aware of potential scams related to coronavirus relief checks.

-Scams can come in the form of emails, text messages, websites, and social media attempts. Red flags to look for include requests for money or personal taxpayer information.

-“The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

READ MORE HERE 

4/2: CARES Act: Coronavirus Relief Check Questions Answered

The CARES Act provides financial support through a one-time check for American workers to help them as our country continues its work to defeat the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE HERE

4/1: Brady Lauds Automatic Coronavirus Relief Payments for Social Security Recipients

The Woodlands, TX – The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to provide automatic coronavirus relief payments for Social Security beneficiaries.

READ MORE HERE 

4/1: ICYMI: No One Thinks Pelosi’s Call to Cut Taxes for the Rich Will Cure COVID-19

After the New York Times reported that Speaker Pelosi sees a “wonderful opportunity” to cut taxes for the top 1 percent of households by repealing the cap on the SALT deduction, experts across the political spectrum swiftly panned the idea. Democrats held up phase 3 negotiations because they saw it as “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision…”

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/31: Eliminating the SALT Cap to Help the Rich Doesn’t Fight Coronavirus

In a time where jobless claims are reaching historic highs and the world is fighting to stop a global pandemic, House Democrats are seeking to cut taxes for the rich by repealing the cap on the SALT deduction.

Prior to tax reform, the wealthy could deduct taxes, subject to limitations, they paid to state and local governments from what they owed to the federal government. Republican reforms capped those deductions to ensure everyone paid their fair share.

READ MORE HERE

 

3/31: Getting Medical Supplies to Our Health Care Providers

Key points:

-The federal government is getting more tests, masks, and resources to medical providers and patients.

-Using public-private partnerships, this work will lead to quicker development of products and faster allocation of resources.

READ MORE HERE

3/30: CARES Act: Unemployment Insurance Questions Answered

The CARES Act – the economic relief bill signed into law on Friday – provides much-needed temporary support for American workers impacted by COVID-19. It dedicates $250 billion to give workers more access to unemployment benefits during this public health emergency.

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/27: Brady: “Faith is answering.”

WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following closing remarks on the House Floor in support of the CARES Act. 

READ MORE HERE

3/27: Brady Opening Floor Remarks on Coronavirus Relief Package: “Today’s vote is about saving lives and livelihoods”

WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following remarks in support of the CARES Act, the third package aimed at staving off the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE HERE

3/26: CARES Act: Helping Workers in Distressed Industries

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 the novel coronavirus.

This is NOT a bailout. A bailout infers fault; in this case, many industries were forced to close shop by the government. These loans are to be used to keep these job creators afloat so they can keep workers on the payroll and ensure that people have jobs to come back to once we beat the coronavirus.

READ MORE HERE

3/26: Individual Tax Rebates: How they Work

Key points: 

-The “CARES” Act ensures that only taxpayers who are actually eligible for cash assistance receives it.

-The process for receiving these funds are simplified for seniors and individuals with disabilities who did not file taxes to ensure they get these dollars quickly.

READ MORE HERE

3/25: The Senate CARES Bill: Health

Senate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference.

READ MORE HERE 

3/25: The Senate CARES Bill: Tax

Senate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference.

READ MORE HERE 

3/25: The Senate CARES Bill: Protecting Americans’ Livelihoods

Senate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference.

READ MORE

 

3/25: The Senate CARES Bill: Helping Small Business

Senate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference.

READ MORE HERE 

3/25: The Senate CARES Bill: Helping Small Business

Senate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference.

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/25: The Senate CARES Bill: Unemployment

Senate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference.

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/25: IRS Announces Additional Relief for Taxpayers During the COVID-19 Crisis

Today the IRS released its “People First Initiative,” which is designed to provide relief to taxpayers during the fight against COVID-19. The relief includes postponing certain payments related to installment agreements and offers in compromise. It also includes limiting certain enforcement actions. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig noted that the IRS is “temporarily adjusting [its] processes to help people and businesses during these uncertain times.” To determine whether this relief applies to your specific situation, review the IRS guidance here.

READ MORE HERE 

3/25: “Phase Three” COVID-19 Package ”Big, Targeted, and Will Make a Difference”

Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Kevin Cirilli on Bloomberg TV to break down the phase three package.

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/24: Brady on MSNBC: “Let’s lock down this virus”

Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Ayman Mohyeldinon on MSNBC to talk about the federal response to the novel coronavirus.

On federal efforts:  

“I think Leader McConnell is exactly right – time has run out. This bill has been delayed now for three days; and those working groups he put together, Republicans and Democrats, were working. They were within inches on a final agreement on Sunday. That got blown up and were held hostage for several days. Now is the time to come together.”

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/24: Brady on Fox Business: “I think the design of this bill really tackles the economic challenges”

Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business to talk about the federal response to the novel coronavirus.

On Dems’ delay:

“I am frustrated. Three days – that is how long we’ve lost when Nancy Pelosi rode into town and really bullied the Senate Democrats into holding this bill hostage.”

READ MORE HERE 

3/23: Pelosi Proposes Government Slush Fund,
Rejects Timely Coronavirus Relief
 

The Senate’s bill to help workers, families and small businesses directly contains a number of priorities for both Republicans and Democrats, but now Senate Democrats are balking. Speaker Pelosi is pursuing a separate coronavirus proposal that prioritizes topping off budgets for government agencies, bails out government-subsidized corporations, and singles out favored “friendly” organizations.

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/23: Partnering with our Allies to Fight COVID-19

Key Points:

  • The federal government did an emergency international mission recently to receive 500,000 swabs and sample kits used in the COVID-19 testing process in order to amplify diagnostic testing supplies in the U.S.
  • The supplies came from Italy and are now in Memphis, Tennessee, a prominent distribution center for FedEx.

READ MORE HERE 

 

3/22: What’s in the Senate’s Coronavirus Bill

While some provisions may be amended as the Senate negotiates on a compromise, this is what we’re seeing as of Sunday, March 22. While this is subject to change, many of these provisions may remain in the final compromise legislation.

READ MORE HERE

3/20: What We’re Seeing in the Phase 3 Package to Protect Americans’ Health (So Far)

On Thursday afternoon, Senator McConnell introduced the Republican proposal for a Phase 3 package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While this package will change very soon due to ongoing negotiations (perhaps even as this is being sent!), we wanted to flag for you that the Senate’s new bill has three main components in the Medicare and health tax portion (Subtitle D):

  • It Boosts Investments in Hospitals
  • It Expands Access to Quality Care
  • It Removes Limitations Employers and Individuals are Facing on Their HSA-eligible Plans

READ MORE HERE

3/20: President Trump Gives Taxpayers Option to Extend Tax Filings to July 15

Key Information:

  • Deadline extension will give everyone maximum flexibility to do what is best for them.
  • Taxpayers who expect to get a refund are still encouraged to file their taxes.
  • This action will help protect seniors and others who are more vulnerable and may need extra time and help filing their taxes.
  • We are awaiting formal guidance from Treasury that changes the guidance issued on Thursday, March 20th.

READ MORE HERE 

3/20: Brady Supports President’s Decision to Give Taxpayers the Option to Extend Tax Filings to July 15

THE WOODLANDS, TX — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced President Trump’s decision to move the deadline for tax filing to July 15. Taxpayers can still file their taxes and seek a refund now.

“I applaud the President and Secretary Mnuchin for extending further relief to families and businesses. This is smart and measured leadership in the face of the novel coronavirus….

READ MORE HERE 

3/19: House Republicans Praise Bicameral Partnership in Making Third COVID-19 Aid Package

Washington, D.C. – The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (TX-08) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following joint statement with Ranking Republican members from multiple House committees on the coronavirus response package, introduced today by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which will enhance Congress’ bicameral and bipartisan effort to mitigate the spread and effects of COVID-19 on American families and businesses.

READ MORE HERE 

3/19: Ways and Means Leaders Urge Social Security Administration to Safeguard Health and Minimize Disruptions Amid Coronavirus Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), along with Social Security Subcommittee Republican Leader Tom Reed (R-NY) and Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Republican Leader Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul calling on SSA to continue their work to prioritize health and transparency in an effort to minimize disruptions as they administer vital services during the coronavirus crisis.

“We know the decision to close SSA field offices…was a difficult decision. … This move will save lives and will also protect the health of SSA frontline staff, whose public service is so critical,” the lawmakers wrote.

READ MORE HERE

 

3/18: Families and Small Businesses get immediate relief from tax payments

Key Information:

  • The Treasury Department today provided further guidance on their work to allow taxpayers to defer tax payments due to the novel coronavirus.
  • This relief is targeted to provide taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 emergency with up to $300 billion in liquidity for the next couple of months.
  • Who qualifies? Any individual who owes less than $1 million or corporation that owes less than $10 million.
  • The relief will be automatically provided to taxpayers. No additional forms are required to be filed.
  • The filing deadline for tax returns remains the same: April 15, 2020.

READ MORE HERE

 

3/18: FAQ: Coronavirus Legislation

Ways and Means Republicans assembled a comprehensive FAQ to help explain how the federal government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It covers what small businesses, seniors, and workers need to know and is broken into sections about what Congress has passed, what Congress is going to do next, and what the Administration has done to help Americans fight this global pandemic.

READ MORE HERE 

3/18: Washington Post Editorial Board: Trump and Congress are moving in the right direction to save the economy

“A CORONAVIRUS epidemic is now inevitable in the United States, but appropriate, large-scale public health measures can still forestall the worst scenarios. Similarly, economic damage is inevitable, yet large-scale monetary and fiscal measures can prevent the worst from happening in that realm…”

READ MORE HERE 

3/18: Phase III: Strong Economic Action to Stave COVID-19

Key Information:

  • Congress and the Administration and set to begin negotiations on a “phase three” package aimed at securing our economy as communities work to fight the novel coronavirus.
  • Secretary Mnuchin is aiming to have four key parts be included in this package:
    • Support for parts of the economy that are seeing the greatest economic and financial loss;
    • Stabilization of the money market mutual fund industry;
    • Cash for workers and families; and
    • More help for Main Street businesses.

READ MORE HERE

3/17: Move to Expand Telehealth Makes Care Safer for Seniors

Key Information:

  • Vulnerable seniors on Medicare need care, and providers must be able to focus on the most critical patients, especially during this national emergency.
  • The Trump Administration has quickly acted on Congress’s work in the first coronavirus emergency supplemental to expand access to telehealth.
  • Beginning on March 6, 2020, Medicare will temporarily broaden its policy to pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for seniors across the country.

READ MORE HERE

 

3/17: Secretary Mnuchin Defers Tax Payments, Delivers Relief for Taxpayers & Small Businesses

Because many families, businesses, and tax preparers may be unable to meet their tax obligations despite their best efforts, President Trump is allowing “the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted.”

Key Information:

The Treasury Secretary Has Deferred Tax Payments, and Waived Penalties

  • Families and small businesses can defer tax payments for 90 days. This covers a broad range of Americans, including small businesses that file as individuals who owe up to $1 million, and other categories of small businesses, sole proprietors, and corporations owing up to $10 million.
  • Penalties and interest that would otherwise apply during this nearly three-month period will be waived.

READ MORE HERE

 

3/17: EXPLAINER: How We Ensured the Coronavirus Relief Bill Answered President Trump’s Call to Put Families First

President Trump called on Congress to take decisive action to provide relief for families and local businesses. After the President’s national address, Speaker Pelosi put forward a bill. House Republicans and Secretary Mnuchin worked to improve it. The goal? Focus on those who need relief most, as quickly as possible. A subsequent vote on a “technical fix” strengthened the bill’s assistance to small businesses further.

Key Information:

Now, families really do come first with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

  • Free Tests for COVID-19: We answered the President’s call to provide free tests for COVID-19
  • Emergency Paid Leave for Workers: Many workers who become sick, or have to care for a loved one who falls ill, will have access to emergency paid leave
  • Assistance for Small Businesses: Small businesses will receive flexibility and support to care for their employees and remain open

READ MORE HERE

 

Below are resources to keep you up-to-date: 

CDC Coronavirus Update 

Coronavirus Guidelines for Americans from the White House

Guidance From the White House Coronavirus Task Force