Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief
Bipartisan COVID Relief
Last night, I supported the next round of COVID relief and reform, which passed the House and will soon become law. It is unfortunate that Speaker Pelosi blocked this latest targeted relief for months on end and recently admitted this was a politically-motivated decision. Too many small businesses are on the brink of closing up shop, and a critical cornerstone of this bill is extending the Paycheck Protection Program to help keep them open and workers on the job. This bipartisan legislation also includes resources to assist struggling Americans, safely re-open schools, and support our health care system and vaccine distribution efforts. While today’s bill is not perfect, Michigan families in the midst of hard times cannot wait until the new year for relief.
Help for Small Business
After months of advocating for the release of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds to help our small businesses, this package will reopen and strengthen the PPP. This package develops a process for a small business to receive a second PPP forgivable loan if the small business has less than 300 employees and can demonstrate a revenue reduction of 25 percent. Safeguards are also enhanced to ensure this money goes to the small businesses truly in need. PPP tax deductibility is addressed in this package as well.
Additionally, this package provides $20 billion dollars to restart and extend the SBA’s EIDL Advance Grant for small businesses in low income communities and creates a process for existing EIDL Advance grantees who received less than $10,000 dollars to reapply for the difference between what they received and the maximum EIDL Advance Grant of $10,000 dollars.
My district office is happy to provide guidance and work with the Small Business Administration to resolve any issues with these programs. My office can be contacted at (517) 780-9075.
Health and Vaccine Funding
- Nearly $20 billion for vaccines and therapeutics to cover the cost for anyone in need
- $3 billion for replenishing our national stockpile
- $8.75 billion for vaccine distribution
- $20 billion for doctors, hospitals, and health care providers
Economic Impact Payments
Individuals will qualify for $600 payments if they earn less then $75,000 annually, or $150,000 per couple. Similar to the first round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), for those making over $75,000 annually, the payment amount will decrease as annual income increases, ultimately phasing out at the annual income of $99,000. While eligibility for this next round of EIPs will largely remain the same from the initial round, unlike the first round of EIPs, dependent children will receive $600 as well.
Funding for Schools and Educators
$82 billion will be allocated for the Education Stabilization Fund, and another $10 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program (CCDBG).
Surprise Billing Reform
This package will also end the practice of surprise billing, a practice that has impacted millions of American families by saddling them with unexpected costs. This practice has ranked as one of the most pressing concerns about our health care system and is something my family has dealt with firsthand. No American family should face financial ruin or delay care due to surprise medical billing, and after years of working on a solution, I am glad to report we have a free-market solution to this issue.
Walberg Legislative Update
Included in the package is my bipartisan Medicaid fraud reform that broadens the authority of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) to identify, investigate, and prosecute possible patient abuse or neglect in non-institutional settings like home health care. My bipartisan provision removes federal barriers so state attorneys general are empowered to root out fraud and protect vulnerable patients.
Additionally, my Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act recently passed the House. This bipartisan legislation requires the Office of Management and Budget to publish online an inventory of each agency’s federal programs, and provide a description of the program as well as identify information about the program’s performance and costs. For years, I’ve fought for this commonsense reform that will tremendously benefit the American taxpayer by increasing transparency and will improve the efficiency of our government.
Finally, I would like you wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and happy holiday season. While we were presented with many challenges this year, there are many reasons to be optimistic as we look towards the future. I hope you have a lovely holiday with those you cherish