Grassley Releases Finance Committee Provisions in Next Coronavirus Relief Legislation
Jul 27, 2020
Grassley Legislation Provides for Boosted Unemployment Insurance, Direct Payments to Americans, Job Creating Tax Relief, Health Care Support for Patients, Nursing Home Residents and Hospitals & State and Local Government Revenue Assistance
Washington – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released historic legislation growing on the success of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to assist the country in combatting the coronavirus and safely reopening the economy.
The legislation, which is based on past bipartisan legislative successes in response to coronavirus, will provide further relief for workers affected by coronavirus, assistance to individuals, families and employers to reopen the economy, support for patients, nursing home residents, providers and foster youth in responding to coronavirus, additional flexibility and accountability for coronavirus relief fund payments and state tax certainty for employees and employers.
“This unprecedented expansion of federal assistance will help millions of workers, families, patients, businesses and governments survive this historic public health and economic crisis,” Grassley said. “The American people are doing their part to combat this deadly disease and the federal government must do its part as well. This legislation serves as a starting point for bipartisan negotiations. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to not let partisan differences derail progress.”
A detailed section-by-section summary of the legislation can be found HERE.
Legislative text can be found HERE.
Today, Grassley spoke on the Senate floor about this legislation. Text of that speech can be found below.
Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
On the Introduction of New Pandemic Relief Legislation
Monday, July 27, 2020
Within the Finance Committee’s jurisdiction, our proposals take on several issues facing Americans during this crisis.
For unemployment insurance, we boost the federal government’s reimbursements to local governments and nonprofits to 75 percent—up from 50 percent in the CARES Act to prevent further layoffs.
We’ll maintain some of the current boosted benefit, while responsibly honing programs to target help where it’s needed. This transition from a flat rate to a replacement of about 70 percent of lost wages is a better approach.
Regardless, the boosted unemployment benefit is significantly more than the Democratic Senate and President approved in the 2009 economic crisis, and it doesn’t pay most people more than working like the extra $600 does.
Our tax provisions aim to help Americans get back to work and help businesses safely open. We expand access to the CARES Act employment tax credit for small and medium-sized businesses, and expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for larger employers hiring people currently receiving unemployment insurance. We also provide a new credit for expenses, like PPE and cleaning, needed to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees and customers.
The Republican plan provides for another round of $1,200 Economic Impact Payments for most American adults, with an additional $500 provided for each dependent regardless of age.
For health care providers, we relax the terms of loans received from Medicare. We ensure that Medicare telehealth options don’t expire before Congress can determine what should be made permanent. We extend for five years the CARES Act provision that pays clinics and health centers for telehealth to provide a down payment on meeting health care needs in rural America. And we freeze Medicare premiums at 2020 levels to head off a predicted spike next year. We also assist nursing home patients and workers.
State and local governments have also asked for federal help. Our proposal extends the time frame in which governments can utilize the $150 billion in funding provided under the CARES Act, while also providing more flexibility—allowing some funds to be used to cover revenue shortfalls.
Altogether, this proposal sets out a responsible and holistic approach to address the problems our country faces. I hope my Democratic colleagues are interested in compromise and solutions to the benefit of all the American people.