The CARES Act Provides Relief for Michigan Families
On March 27, I was in Washington to lend my support for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. With the growing public health crisis and a rapidly changing economy, action was urgently needed to provide relief for Michigan residents during a period of great uncertainty for our nation. CARES was signed into law by President Donald Trump on the same day, and efforts to provide support are moving forward.
Up to $1,200 a Person
Under this much-needed legislation, individuals will receive a $1,200 tax rebate and joint filers will receive $2,400, including retirees. The amount decreases in phases for those making more than $75,000 and $150,000, respectively. There is also a $500 credit per child, so a family of four will receive $3,400 in total.
This funding is vitally needed and while it may not cover all expenses, it will help families meet their most important needs while our country must take extraordinary steps to prevent the spread of the dangerous Coronavirus.
Helping Small Business Stay in Business
Of course, Michigan small business owners and their employees also need help during this time.
That’s why this legislation creates the Paycheck Protection Program. This gives small businesses and 501(c)(3)s with fewer than 500 employees access to short-term loans guaranteed through the Small Business Administration.
The loan amount can be used to cover salaries, group health care benefits, rent, utilities, mortgage interest, and other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020.
Most importantly, the portions of the loan used to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities will be forgiven if the business retains its staff through June 30, 2020.
The loan is available through financial institutions that are already existing SBA lenders, and those institutions will be able to make the loan without SBA approval in order to expedite funding.
The Paycheck Protection Program will allow small business owners and their employees to keep their jobs and be ready to re-open when the public health crisis has subsided.
Funding for the Frontlines
The legislation also includes funding for much-needed supplies for those on the frontlines of the public health fight.
There is funding for health care providers and hospitals, as well as $16 billion for medical equipment including respirators, ventilators, gloves, masks, and gowns. Additional funding goes toward research for testing, treatments and vaccine research.
The legislation also addresses some of the unique challenges we have in our rural communities with agriculture assistance for farmers affected by the virus, block grants for non-profit groups that provide critical services, and funding to expand rural broadband and telehealth so seniors do not have to risk infection at a doctor's office.
Finally, it must be noted that there is already misinformation out there about this legislation. So to be clear, there is no funding for Planned Parenthood in this bill, and there is no pay raise for members of Congress in this bill.
Overall, this legislation is a major step forward and it will move needed funds to the front lines of this public health fight, while reassuring Michigan families and small businesses that there is support for them during this crisis.
If your concern about this legislation has not been addressed, my website has more details on this extensive bill, including what it means for seniors and students, at Moolenaar.house.gov/coronavirus. There is also a list of federal and state resources including details on unemployment assistance and tax relief steps taken by the IRS. I encourage you to visit this page for more information.
We are all in this together and we must remain united, even while we stay apart to limit the spread of the virus.
Congressman John Moolenaar represents Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District, which is made up of Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Shiawassee, and Wexford counties, and parts of Montcalm and Saginaw counties.