Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) applauded the House of Representatives’ unanimous passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act, the third major piece of legislation passed by Congress to address the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The legislation contains $2 trillion in economic relief for small businesses, improved assistance for workers, reimbursements for state efforts, and grants for hospitals and other health centers on the front lines of fighting the spread of this disease.
“I’m proud that Congress has passed this bipartisan legislation to help get relief and additional resources directly to those who are feeling the burden of this coronavirus outbreak,” said Rep. Axne. “The funds in this package will go towards helping Iowa’s hospitals and health care professionals, the workers who’ve been laid off and the families they’re still trying to support, and the small businesses who are struggling from diminished demand as we continue to observe social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of this disease.”
The CARES Act, which is now headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes:
- $1.25 billion for the State of Iowa to cover additional expenses due to COVID-19
- $350 billion to help small businesses keep their employees paid, support employee benefits insurance premiums, and cover mortgage payments and other debt obligations
- $100 billion for grants to hospitals and other health entities to cover unreimbursed expenses or lost revenues attributable to coronavirus
- $30 billion for education funding to help schools cover expenses, support distance learning, and make up for the lost days of classroom time
- $14 billion to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation to support Iowa farmers and producers, and $9.5 billion to assist specialty crop and livestock producers
- An additional $600 per week of unemployment benefits for up to 4 months and expanded unemployment coverage to cover gig workers and independent contractors
- An employee retention credit that offers employers tax credits equal to 50% of the wages paid to employees for those employers who are fully or partially shut down or who have lost most of their revenue
- Direct payments of up to $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child
The inclusion of $14 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and $9.5 billion for specialty crop and livestock producers comes after Rep. Axne called on congressional leadership to include assistance to help Iowa farmers and producers.
The legislation also includes a foreclosure moratorium for all federally backed properties, as well as a consumer right to request forbearance for loans. This is a measure Rep. Axne called on the managers of those federally backed properties, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to implement earlier this month.
This is the third piece of legislation Rep. Axne has supported to provide federal assistance to local and state efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rep. Axne voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included provisions to establish an emergency paid leave program, enhance unemployment aid, and ensure testing for COVID-19 is cost-free.
Earlier this month, Rep. Axne voted to pass legislation that provided $8.3 billion to reinforce federal, state, and local efforts to combat COVID-19 across the United States. That legislation has already produced multiple investments to build Iowa’s capacities to fight COVID-19 totaling $6.5 million.
The direct payments authorized in the CARES Act are refundable, renewable tax credits available to all tax filers in Iowa. Single filers that made less than $75,000 in 2019 are be eligible for the full payment of $1,200. Joint filers can receive up to $2,400, and an additional $500 for each child.
If the single filer made more than $75,000 in 2019, payments will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income that exceeds the limits, with no payment for an individual making more than $99,000 or a couple making $198,000. The payments will be dispersed via direct deposit when available or mailed to last known filing address. If a 2019 return has not been completed, the information on the 2018 filing will be used. Recipients of Social Security are also eligible for direct payments.