Senate Republicans propose $1T ‘HEALS Act’ with another round of stimulus checks and $190B more in Paycheck Protection Program funding

GOP package would reduce extended unemployment benefits to $200 a week


Joanna Fantozzi, Nation's Restaurant News

Jul 28, 2020


Senate Republicans introduced a fourth COVID-19 stimulus package on Monday dubbed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability and Schools, or HEALS, Act.


The $1 trillion package includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for more Americans, as well as a $190 billion third round of Paycheck Protection Program funding. It would also reduce the federal extension of unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 per week.


For employers, the proposal would offer a measure of protection from liability, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)


Like the CARES Act that was adopted in March, the economic stimulus aspect of the HEALS Act would include another round of $1,200 checks for individuals, $2,4000 for married couples or those making less than $75,000 as singles, $112,500 for heads of household and $150,000 for joint taxpayers.


The HEALS Act would include some changes to the stimulus checks program, like an expansion of an extra $500 in stimulus for eligible adult dependents, and a provision that would stop stimulus checks from being distributed to deceased people.


Supplemental federal unemployment benefits, however, would be temporarily reduced from $600 to $200. The $600 per week extended benefits approved under the CARES Act is scheduled to end July 31.


“For unemployment insurance, we boost the federal government’s reimbursements to local governments and nonprofits to 75 percent — up from 50 percent in the CARES Act to prevent further layoffs,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on the Senate floor Monday. “We’ll maintain some of the current boosted benefit, while responsibly honing programs to target help where it’s needed. This transition from a flat rate to a replacement of about 70% of lost wages is a better approach.”


The economic assistance portion of the bill, according to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would include a $190 billion second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding for both second-draw and first-time small business loan applicants.


The Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act would authorize $100 billion “long-term, low-cost loans to recovery sector businesses” (including seasonal businesses and businesses with 500 employees in low-income census tracts), $190 billion in PPP second-draw loans (for businesses with no more than 300 employees, and at least a 50% reduction in revenues during the pandemic), and $25 billion set aside for businesses with fewer than 10 employees, along with $10 billion in funding for small community lenders.


The HEALS Act would also...


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