Mar 26 2020

The Robesonian

The Phase III emergency relief package approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate and now waiting for consideration by the House has the full support of two members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation.
“I support this package because the devastating economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic require immediate, bold action to keep small businesses open and families afloat,” said Rep. Dan Bishop, R-District 9. “I was disappointed that Democrats stalled this relief for days and included unrelated pork-barrel provisions like funding for the Kennedy Center. Given the need, however, I look forward to the bill’s passage and helping constituents receive the support they desperately need throughout this crisis.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican see good things in the legislation.
If approved by the House the package will provide direct checks to North Carolinians and help for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tillis said. Many people should begin receiving these checks as soon as next month.
Every North Carolina resident who reported taxes in 2018 and 2019 or revenue through Social Security will be eligible for a one-time check in the amount of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, subject to certain limits at the upper scale of income.
“So after $75,000 up to $100,000, the payment will be reduced, but you will get some economic support,” Tillis said. “The whole idea of this one-time payment is to help people bridge the gap while we fight the virus.”
The portion of the loans used by small businesses to pay employees laid off during the pandemic will not have to be repaid, he said.
“For small businesses, we are going to be able to provide loans that are completely forgivable if you use that loan to pay your employees,” Tillis said. “So every dollar that you pay someone’s salary, you can actually claim and you would be forgiven and not have to pay that part of the loan back. If you use a portion of the loan for other operations or other things you may be doing for the business, then it would be a low-interest loan that would have a payback period that would be negotiated between you and your lender.”
The 880-page package is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history and is intended as relief for a slumping economy. The legislation finances a response at a cost that equals half the size of the$4 trillion-plus annual federal budget. It is the third coronavirus response bill produced by Congress and the largest by far. It builds on efforts focused on vaccines and emergency response, sick and family medical leave for workers, and food assistance.
The legislation would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
It includes a $500 billion program for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries. Hospitals also would get significant help.
In the meantime, there are many things all U.S. citizens can do to help during the pandemic, Tillis said. First and foremost is to stay calm and do what is necessary to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.
“The best way you can do that is to stay at home if you can,” the senator said. “Do not find yourself in unfamiliar settings. Don’t even go visit family members. Give them a call. Talk to them and encourage them to practice safe behaviors so that we can reduce this spread.”
The sooner the infection curve is flattened, the sooner health-care facilities will be available for people who are going to have complications, he said. Most people who become infected will not have complications.
“The vast majority of us will heal just by staying at home and tending this virus the way you do the common cold or flu,” Tillis said. “Some will have serious conditions, and we have to do everything we can to make sure that the health-care facilities in North Carolina are prepared to tend to those patients.”
Tillis, Bishop see good things in aid package.

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