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Senate Agrees on Bill to Provide Individual Rebates and Loan Forgiveness

Dear Friend,

We are halfway through the 15 Days to Slow the Spread. Remember to do your part to help flatten the curve by staying at home whenever possible, practicing social distancing when you need to leave your home, and avoiding crowds of more than ten people.

I have compiled a list of resources on my website for your convenience. By visiting my Coronavirus Relief page, you can find helpful information on managing this crisis. We will continue to update the page as more information becomes available, so be sure to check back every few days and subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Yesterday morning, White House officials, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats announced that they had reached a deal on the third coronavirus stimulus package, also known as the CARES Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the floor of the Senate early yesterday morning to announce the deal and indicated the bill includes the four major provisions he outlined at the beginning of the negotiating process:

Direct financial help for the American people
Rapid relief for small businesses and their employees
Significant steps to stabilize our economy and protect jobs
Support healthcare professionals and the patients who are fighting the coronavirus

The bill proposes direct help for Americans in the form of individual tax rebates and a new loan program for small businesses. The bill passed the Senate last night 96-0. You can find details on the rebate and the loan program below:

Rebate Eligibility

There is no minimum income requirement and no tax liability requirement. All Americans with a valid social security number are eligible. Those who did not file an income tax return for 2018 would still be eligible for the rebate if they 1) complete their 2019 tax return before July 15th or 2) by using the SSA-1099 to identify Social Security beneficiaries who fall below the tax filing requirement. Individuals living in the United States illegally are not eligible for the rebate.

Rebate Amount

Individuals who qualify would receive $1,200 and joint filers would receive $2,400. Those with children would receive $500 per child. The payments are phased out beginning at incomes of $75,000 for individuals/$112,500 for heads of households/$150,000 for joint filers. The rebate is phased out completely for individuals with individual incomes above $99,000 or joint filers with incomes above $198,000.

Details on Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness

The CARES Act creates a new SBA Paycheck Protection loan program that is available for businesses with less than 500 employees. New loans under this program would be 100% guaranteed by the SBA and have an interest rate of 4%. Furthermore, the Senate proposal would establish a loan forgiveness tool that would allow businesses that maintain their payrolls from February 15th through June 30th, 2020 to request forgiveness on their Paycheck Protection loan. The program provides flexibility for businesses that re-hire employees previously laid-off. For more information on the Paycheck Protection and Loan Forgiveness provisions in the bill, CLICK HERE.

I am anticipating additional information to be released soon. I will continue to provide details on the coronavirus relief package and timelines for final passage to my subscribers. If you would like to receive more details on the coronavirus and the efforts of the United States government to mitigate its impact, please subscribe to my newsletter

CLICK HERE for more information on additional CARES Act provisions.

Current Statistics

As of Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 54,453 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, 737 individuals have passed away as a result of infection, and 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have at least one case. As of Wednesday morning, 377 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Mississippi and five Mississippians passed away as a result of infection. 2,048 Mississippians have been tested for COVID-19. The first clinical trial of the antiviral medicine Remdesivir in Covid-19 patients is due to report its findings next month.

Mississippi Resources

Yesterday, with funding provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $1,435,133 to support 20 health centers across Mississippi.

In partnership with C Spire, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) announced a statewide telehealth COVID-19 response app that is free to all Mississippians. UMMC has made mobile field screening and testing available at the Mississippi Fairgrounds for those showing symptoms of COVID-19 from an initial screening provided through the app. You can connect with screeners by using the app seven days a week 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Those individuals found to be at high risk for infection will receive a next-day appointment 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for drive through testing at the Mississippi Fairgrounds. During the appointment, individuals will remain in their vehicles and their noses will be swabbed to test for the coronavirus. UMMC will notify patients of the results through their smartphones and give further instructions. Those without a smartphone who are showing symptoms can call (601) 496-7200 to set up an appointment. Finally, it is important that those individuals not showing symptoms refrain from using the app. CLICK HERE to download the app on your smartphone.

For those located outside of the Jackson metro area, there are many testing sites across the state to assess your condition. The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has released the locations of these testing sites. To find one near you, CLICK HERE.

MSDH is coordinating the COVID-19 response effort in Mississippi. You can find more about community preparedness and overseas travel by visiting the MSDH website, or you can call the Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline 24 hours a day/7 days a week by dialing 877-978-6453.

If you are looking for accessible, free Wi-Fi, you can find locations of libraries, colleges, and universities offering parking-lot internet access by CLICKING HERE. At these locations, you can remain in your vehicle and access online applications.

Sincerely

 

Michael Guest
Member of Congress



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