03.17.20

Daines Unveils Major Plan to Protect Montana Small Businesses, Working Families, First Responders During Coronavirus Outbreak

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Daines today unveiled three more major proposals that will help protect Montana’s workers, families, first responders, healthcare professionals and small businesses during the Coronavirus Outbreak. Daines’ plan includes: a tax relief payment of 7.65% for workers and small businesses, $1,000 payment for all first responders and healthcare professionals and to suspend SBA loan payments for three months.

“We are in the midst of a massive public health and economic challenge because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Our economy, our small businesses and the livelihoods of thousands of Montanans are at stake,” Daines said. “In addition to several priorities I’m working on to protect the health of Montanans, I’m fighting to help our working families, small businesses, first responders and healthcare providers during the Coronavirus outbreak.” 

Daines is Calling for:

  • 7.65% Tax Relief Payment for Workers and Small Businesses
    • For workers, the tax relief payment would be 7.65% of 6 months of salary. This would fall under the same limits of the payroll tax.
      • MT Worker Example:
        • In 2018, the average Montanan made $43,410.
        • Under Daines’ tax relief payment plan, a worker with that salary would receive $1,660.
      • National Worker Example:
        • In 2018, the average American made $51,960.
        • Under Daines’ tax relief payment plan, a worker with that salary would receive $1,987.
    • For small businesses, the tax relief payment would be 7.65% of their total employees’ salaries over 6 months.
      • Example: A Montana small business has 10 employees making an average of $43,410, the businesses owner would get a $16,600 check
  • $1,000 for First Responders and Healthcare Professionals
    • For fire fighters, EMTs, police officers and healthcare professionals on the front lines of diagnosing and treating Coronavirus, they will receive an additional check of $1,000 for their hardships.
  • Suspend SBA Loan Payments
    • Suspend SBA loan payments for three months.

 Background:

Daines has been leading the efforts in Congress to respond to the coronavirus outbreak impacting the country.    

Three weeks ago, Daines brought his proposal and ideas to President Trump at a meeting in the White House.    

On March 16th, 2020, Daines announced that the Senate passed his bipartisan bill that protects veterans and their dependents from losing GI Bill education benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak while they take part in online classes.

On March 16th, 2020, Daines announced $4.5 million awarded to Montana to help support the coronavirus response and protect public health. 

On March 16th, 2020, Daines urged President Trump to ensure Montana tribal communities have access to federal assistance during coronavirus outbreak.

On March 14th, 2020, Daines urged Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Gaynor to ensure Indian Health Service (IHS) has the resources needed to provide coronavirus testing for tribal communities.

On March 13th, 2020, Daines issued a statement yesterday on President Trump declaring a national emergency for coronavirus.

On March 12th, 2020, Daines introduced bipartisan legislation to provide disaster unemployment assistance to people who are unable to work due to the current coronavirus outbreak. Assistance would be available to individuals, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors, who are sick, quarantined, furloughed, or whose family circumstances keep them from working or reduce their pay as a result of the coronavirus outbreak or government containment efforts.

On March 9th, 2020, Daines unveiled a slate of proposals and priorities he’s working to advance that will help protect Montana families and their finances during the Coronavirus outbreak including paid leave, temporarily waiving payroll taxes, providing relief from tariffs, and ensuring access to affordable testing.

On March 9th, 2020, Daines sent a letter urging the Trump administration to take swift action to make testing for the Coronavirus affordable.

The following day the IRS immediately announced it would adopt Daines’ proposal to remove financial barriers to testing and treatment for the Coronavirus by allowing high deductible health plans to cover Coronavirus-related testing and treatment before a patient has met their deductible.   

Congress passed the Coronavirus emergency supplemental earlier this month which included $8.3 billion to combat this crisis, including nearly $1 billion for state and local preparedness and response.

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