Hoeven: Senate Approves Phase III Legislation to Support Health Care, Help Families, Small Businesses and the Economy Respond to COVID-19
Senator Secured Nearly $25 Billion in USDA Resources to Support Farmers and Ranchers, Provisions for Tribal Communities
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Senate approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, legislation that provides direct financial help to the American people, relief for small businesses and their employees, stabilizes the economy and supports health care workers and patients.
“Families across the nation are facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hoeven, “This legislation provides resources for health care professionals as they work to address the public health crisis. At the same time, it includes vital assistance to help deal with the economic impacts by providing relief to American families, small businesses and industries essential to our economy. As the chair of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, I also worked to provide USDA with resources to support our farmers and ranchers through this tough stretch.”
- Direct financial assistance for American families – Provides up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples and an additional $500 per child. The payments begin phasing out for individuals and couples with incomes of $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.
- Relief for small businesses and their employees – Provides $350 billion in loan guarantees, loan subsidies, grants and technical assistance for small businesses, nonprofits and veteran’s organizations with 500 or fewer employees.
- Provides increased and extended benefits for those receiving unemployment benefits, and covers those who are unable to work or have had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 and who may not otherwise be eligible for unemployment.
- Stabilizes the economy – Provides $500 billion for direct loans, loan guarantees and equity investments to support the continued operation of industries that are critical to the national interest, including passenger airlines, cargo airlines and others.
- Helps ensure cash flow for businesses by delaying estimated income tax payments and payroll tax payments as well as expanding certain tax deductions and credits for 2020.
- Supports health care workers and patients – $127 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, including $100 billion in reimbursement to hospitals and health care providers. Funding also assists with the development of medical countermeasures and vaccines, increases payments to providers for COVID-19 treatment, provides flexibilities to improve access to telehealth services and requires health plans to cover COVID-19 testing and future vaccination without cost-sharing.
- Includes legislation Hoeven cosponsored to support the increased manufacture of CDC-approved respiratory protective devices.
NORTH DAKOTA PRIORITIES
As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with nearly $25 billion in resources to assist farmers and ranchers. Specifically, the bill:
- Replenishes $14 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) borrowing authority for the USDA.
- $9.5 billion in separate funding for USDA to help producers, including livestock and specialty crop producers, impacted by COVID-19.
- Provides funding to support rural communities.
As a chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Hoeven also advanced important priorities for tribal communities. This includes:
- $8 billion in the Tribal Stabilization Fund to provide emergency relief to tribal governments to offset costs incurred by Indian Tribes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Ensuring that Indian Tribes and their businesses are eligible for the $454 billion loan guarantee funds and $349 billion under the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan 7(a) Program.
- $1.032 billion for Indian Health Service (HIS) for coronavirus response efforts, including treatment and preventing the spread of COVID-19 on tribal lands.
- $100 million for USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
- $453 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Public Safety and Law Enforcement.
- $327 million for Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).
- $305 million for Indian Housing Programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Relief for Students
- Includes the Employer Participation in Repayment Act, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Hoeven that would allow employers to provide to their employees up to $5,250 annually for student loan repayment on a tax-free basis.
- Provides six months of interest-free deferrals on student loan payments.
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