Senator Cotton Introduces Phase III Legislation to Surge Cash to American Families, Businesses

Senator Cotton (R-Arkansas) introduced a series of bills today to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus. The four bills each leverage existing government systems to surge cash to low- and middle-income Americans and struggling businesses. Summaries of the bills and their full text may be found below.

After introducing the bills, Senator Cotton released the following statement.

“Low and middle-income Americans need help now—not in weeks or months. By using existing government programs to surge cash to struggling families and businesses, we can get them that assistance now. My bills will help our nation weather this storm so that we can emerge stronger than ever on the other side.”

Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Act

  • Authorizes the Treasury Department to immediately cut a tax-rebate check of $1,000 for every adult tax filer making less than $100,000 per year and $500 for each claimed dependent. Married couples filing jointly that make less than $200,000 per year would be eligible for a $2,000 tax-rebate check.
  • Eligible filers would receive full rebate checks regardless of tax liability.
  • This would be a one-time payment. Treasury would use 2018 tax information to assess eligibility.
  • Bill text may be found here.

Coronavirus TANF Expansion Act 

  • Provides Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states that temporarily broaden eligibility standards so that their programs apply to any family with children under 18 whose income has been reduced due to coronavirus and that earned less than 400% FPL last year.
  • This new class of eligibility would receive a one-time payment of at least $500 and no more than $1,000 per dependent; states would have flexibility within that guidance.
  • Temporarily waives work requirements for eligibility in the interest of public health.
  • Bill text may be found here.

Coronavirus Unemployment Insurance Expansion Act

  • Provides block grants to states that expand eligibility to cover: 1) cases where an individual’s employer temporarily ceases operations due to coronavirus, 2) cases where an individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work and is not receiving pay due to the coronavirus emergency, and 3) cases where an individual must stop receiving pay in order to care for family members or dependents due to the emergency.
  • Reimburses states for 100% of the costs of the expansion.
  • Temporarily suspends requirements to seek work in the interest of public health.
  • The expansion would last until December 31, 2020, or the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first.
  • Bill text may be found here.

Coronavirus Credit Expansion Act

  • Increases the cap on small-business disaster loans from $2 million to $20 million dollars, and funds appropriately.
  • Grants low-interest loans to businesses immediately, with penalties for fraudulent claims being 3x the amount of the loan.
  • Bill text may be found here.