03.22.20

Daines: We Must Work and Stand Together to Provide Relief to Workers, Families, Small Businesses and Healthcare Professionals Now

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today issued the following statement after the Senate voted against a Coronavirus economic recovery package that would deliver major relief for millions of workers, working families and small businesses in Montana and across the country.

“The health and livelihoods of the American people are in danger and I’m disappointed the Senate didn’t move forward to support crucial legislation to respond to the health crisis and rescue workers and small businesses across our country. We need to stand and work together during this difficult period in our nation’s history,” Daines said.

For audio of the statement, click HERE.

Phase 3: Economic Relief for Workers, Small Businesses

  • Unemployment Insurance - $600/week on top of what is received under current state law through June 30th. That would more than double the checks in Montana. The $600 is fully reimbursable by the federal government.
  • $10.5 billion for drug development to treat and prevent Coronavirus
  • 6 month deferral on Small Business Loans
  • $300 billion for small business loans
  • Employers receive crucial relief by deferring until 2022 the full payment of their current payroll tax burden.
  • Ensures Tribes aren’t left behind when it comes to funding for Coronavirus relief
  • $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers to ensure they receive the support they need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue.
  • $1.7 billion to procure personal protective equipment and other medical supplies for federal and state response efforts.

Phase 2: Public Health and Safety Component (Passed on 3/18, signed into law on 3/18)

  • Waives testing fee for Coronavirus.
  • $1.25 billion to provide emergency nutritional assistance for senior citizens, women, children, and low-income families. Ensures low-income students continue to have access to meals if schools are closed, and provides $15 million for the Internal Revenue Service to administer tax credits.                
  • Provides two weeks paid sick leave for workers impacted by the Coronavirus. (Small businesses will be reimbursed)
  • Provides an additional family leave at two-thirds for up to three months.  (Small businesses will be reimbursed)
  • $1 billion for emergency administration unemployment insurance grants to states.

Phase 1: Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental (Passed on 3/5, signed into law on 3/6)

  • More than $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available; to support treatments; to invest in vaccine development; to protect the integrity of medical products manufactured overseas and identify and prevent potential shortages; as well as provide support for community health centers.
  • $2.2 billion for the CDC, including nearly $1 billion for state and local preparedness grants.
  • $1.25 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for diplomatic emergency preparedness, global health programs, international disaster assistance, and economic support.
  • $20 million for disaster assistance loans for small businesses.
  • Waives certain telehealth requirements during the coronavirus outbreak, ensuring Medicare beneficiaries can receive care at home to avoid placing themselves at greater risk. 

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 22nd, 2020, Daines announced a plan and over $10 billion in funding for accelerated drug development and manufacturing to treat and prevent the Coronavirus.

On March 21st, 2020, Daines announced that President Trump signed his bipartisan bill, the Emergency GI Fix for Coronavirus School Closures, into law. This legislation will stop veterans, and those who depend on them, from losing GI Bill education benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 21st, 2020, Daines sent a letter to Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging inclusion of expanded and robust federal unemployment insurance in the Coronavirus economic relief package in negotiations today. 

On March 20th, 2020, Daines urged President Trump to prioritize the shipment of essential goods such as medical supplies, agricultural commodities, and energy, which will help local Montana businesses and border communities, during ongoing negotiations with Canada over travel restrictions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

On March 20th, 2020, Daines cosponsored a bipartisan bill that provides relief to Montana ranchers during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

On March 20th, 2020, President Trump extended the tax filing deadline three months, from April 15th 2020 to  July 15th, 2020. Earlier this week, Daines introduced a bipartisan bill urging the administration do so.

On March 20th, 2020, Daines cosponsored a bipartisan bill that provides relief to Montana ranchers during the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 19th, 2020, Daines sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Wilkie stressing the need to care for veterans in Montana who struggle with mental health and who may be found to have increased stress during the coronavirus outbreak. 

On March 19th, 2020, Daines introduced legislation to extend the tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020 to provide additional relief to Montanans during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 19th, 2020, Daines cosponsored a bill to appropriate $17 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make payments on all 7a, 504, and microloans for the next six months.

On March 18th, 2020, Daines voted for a Coronavirus relief bill which requires free testing for the Coronavirus, ensures paid and sick family leave for Montana’s families and workers and provides emergency nutritional assistance for seniors, women, children and low income families. This bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, is Phase Two of Congress’ response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

On March 18th, 2020, Daines sponsored legislation to delay the impact of the recent accounting rule change for current expected credit losses (CECL) during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines introduced legislation to require private health insurance plans to cover treatments or vaccines for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, with no cost sharing.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines announced the Trump administration will be expanding access to Medicare telehealth services during the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to enable thousands of federal civil servants, who have experience with rapid emergency response, to assist rural communities that are increasingly overwhelmed by the challenge of responding to the Coronavirus outbreak.   

On March 17th, 2020, Daines announced the Small Business Administration (SBA) declared that Flathead, Gallatin, Missoula, Sheridan, Silver Bow, Wheatland, Beaverhead, Broadwater, Daniels, Deer Lodge, Fergus, Glacier,  Golden Valley, Granite, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Park, Pondera, Powell, Ravalli, Roosevelt, Sanders, Sweet Grass, and Teton counties will be eligible to apply for additional funding under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Declaration.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines introduced a bipartisan bill that directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to delay enforcement of REAL ID for at least one year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Daines has been proactively working with the Trump administration on a delay of REAL ID for Montana.

On March 17th, 2020, Daines unveiled three more major proposals that will help protect Montana’s workers, families, first responders and small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

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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