Missouri — The Senate and House passed the $2.2 trillion relief bill Friday March 27. Americans now wait with baited breath as to what they need to do next to receive their benefits. Missouri Congressman Sam Graves told KMZU a little about what is in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The announcement that the House had passed the CARES Act came out Friday afternoon but it came with some last minute dramatics. Representative Tom Massie (R-Ky.) wanted a roll call vote and that would of delayed the passing of the measure. Graves said that was quickly taken care of by a voice vote. Lawmakers did not want to travel to the Capitol during the pandemic and delay the vote.
President Trump quickly then signed it Friday around 4 pm.
There are provisions in the bill for individuals and additional money for having dependents. There are loans for small business owners, money for supplies for front line healthcare workers, expanded unemployment insurance, and tax relief. The government will go off last years tax returns.
Individuals receive $1,200.00 checks with an additional $500.00 per child. Graves said the Treasury Department will release soon qualifications and timelines for checks and other provisions.
Democrats are pushing for more additional money to be sent to individuals if the pandemic last longer.
Graves Statement on House Passage of the CARES Act
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) released the following statement after the House passed the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act):
“This coronavirus pandemic has already cost hundreds of Americans their lives, and millions more their livelihoods. In uncertain times, this legislation offers hope, helping American workers put food on the table and helping American businesses keep their lights on and their employees on the payroll.”
“This is a difficult time for America. We still have a lot more work to do, to protect our rural communities and strengthen our rural hospitals. By putting politics aside and working together, we will get through this. I’m confident that we will emerge from this a stronger, more resilient America.”
The CARES Act does the following:
- Sends direct checks to individual Americans of up to $1200.
- Provides grants and loans to small businesses to meet payroll and pay rent.
- Allows regulatory relief so banks can grant loan forbearance for otherwise healthy businesses struggling while business has been shut down.
- Rushes resources to hospitals, doctors and other front-line providers.
- Expands the use of Telehealth medicine to surge capacity and diagnose and treat patients in safe and faster environment.
- Provides liability protection for providers who volunteer.
- Allows Health Savings Accounts (HSA) to be used to purchase over the counter medicines.
Graves also voted in favor of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which was signed into law on March 18, 2020.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided:
Funding to increase testing, support treatments, and invest in vaccine development:
- Resources to purchase essential medical equipment/supplies, and for the CDC, NIH, and state and local response efforts
- Free testing for Americans that need to be tested
- Paid sick and medical leave for workers
- Emergency nutritional assistance
- Protections and relief for small businesses
- Increased access to telehealth
Graves said people can call his office with any questions or comments they may have about the relief bill.