WASHINGTON — Republicans in the U.S. Senate are considering yet another incarnation of the CARES Act which Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says is designed to address continuing problems with the public health crisis.
Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, says he was directly involved in several key elements of the coronavirus pandemic relief legislation.
“That includes updated tax relief to help get folks back to work and help businesses safely open,” Grassley says, “updates in our approach to the unemployment benefits, to provide another round of economic impact payments.” That part of the plan provides for another round of $1,200 payments for most Americans, with an additional $500 for each dependent.
The measure would also lift restrictions on federal assistance that’s already been sent to state and local governments, so it could be used to fill revenue shortfalls. “In other words, originally it was just supposed to be used to fight the virus,” Grassley says, “but if states have money left over, we’ll give them flexibility on spending it.”
He says the package contains a new credit for expenses, like for personal protective equipment and cleaning, which is needed to maintain a safe workplace for employees and customers. Grassley, a Republican, says the proposal sets a “responsible path forward” to address the problems our country is facing due to COVID-19.
“We put forth the bill and we’ve got to negotiate with the House,” Grassley says. “I hope my Democrat colleagues will work with us in good faith. They’d better be open to compromise and keep the best interests of the American people in mind.”
The package would help nursing home patients and workers, Grassley says, in addition to freezing Medicare premiums at 2020 levels to head off a predicted spike next year.