US Senate Just Validated Trump Administration Law in Response to Coronavirus Crisis:
1- Health care.
The bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to prioritize and expedite the review of new drugs. It also includes requirements that insurers pay for COVID-19 testing without a fee for patients; free coverage, without cost sharing, of certain vaccines as they become available.
2- Taxpayers would receive a check of up to $1,200 from the government, but lower earners would get less.
Individual taxpayers who made less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income in 2018 would receive a check for between $600 and $1,200, with the highest earners getting the maximum payment. Married taxpayers who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 combined would receive between $1,200 and $2,400. The Senate proposal would also provide an extra $500 for each child.
People who earned too little to owe income tax would receive $600 as long as they had at least $2,500 in qualifying income. The checks would phase out for people earning $99,000 or more and married couples making more than $198,000.
3- Paid leave would be limited.
The Senate Republican plan curtails how much small businesses would have to pay employees who were forced to stay home because of the virus, revising a paid leave measure enacted just this week. The Senate plan would cap the amount an employer has to pay at $200 a day.
4- Small businesses would get loans, and big corporations would get tax cuts.
Small business loans for any company with less than 500 employees. The cap of that loan is either $10 million or the average of monthly payments. Businesses use the loan to pay for payroll including paid sick leave, salaries, mortgages, rent, utilities or other debt obligations.
And large corporations would get temporary tax cuts, overriding measures in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
5- The tax return deadline would be extended.
Taxpayers would have until July 15 to file their income tax returns and until October 15 to pay their taxes.
The ability for corporations to delay estimated tax payments until October 15. Employers and self-employed people could delay payroll taxes.
Americans who withdrew up to $100,000 from retirement accounts to help with coronavirus-related issues would not incur the typical penalties for early disbursements. The proposal would also allow the secretary of education to defer student loan payments.
For two years, no executive at a company receiving a business loan making more than $425,000 in total compensation can get a raise. Executives whose salary has already been determined through collective bargaining agreements may be exempt from that restriction.
Below is a general summary:
- The bill puts a temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium in place for any renters (business or residential) whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other federal entities. (Aka ; State, Public and some Private buildings). About 70 percent of all mortgages fall into this category. To find out if landlord has such a mortgage, the National Housing Preservation Database lists all loans associated by address. Furthermore, the bill stipulates that landlords cannot charge any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent. The eviction suspension applies only to nonpayment; damaging your place is still grounds for action. This moratorium will last for 120 days after the bill passes.
- Businesses may be eligible for forgivable loans with no damage to company or employer credit during the period beginning on Jan. 31 and continuing 120 days after the end of the national emergency declaration.
- Laid off, unemployed, partly unemployed or unable employees to work due to employer closed down workplace under COVID-19 crisis, are covered under the bill.
In addition to the bill above, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ( See attached), which was signed into law on March 18, will provide paid emergency family leave in limited circumstances, as well as paid sick leave for people affected by the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
As we wait on guidance and interpretation from the Department of Labor on all holiday and paid leave outside of the special circumstances listed in the bill, employers can use the following to prepare :
- In general, the emergency paid-leave provisions in the legislation apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. These provisions take effect April 1 and expire on Dec. 31. The legislation updates the FMLA to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave when they can’t work—either onsite or remotely—because their minor son’s or daughter’s school or child care service is closed due to a public health emergency. The first 10 days of leave can be unpaid. An employee can opt to substitute accrued vacation, personal or sick leave during this time, but an employer may not require an employee to do so. For the other 10 weeks, eligible workers must receive two-thirds of their regular rate of pay, which will be capped at $200 a day (and $10,000 total).
For employees with variable hours each week, paid leave would be equal to the average number of hours worked per day over the previous six months. Note that the eligibility standards are much different than under regular FMLA provisions. Workers who have been on the payroll for at least 30 calendar days will be eligible for the emergency paid family leave benefits.