Major COVID-19 Legislation
Resources for SC's 5th Congressional District
COVID-19 Home ♦ Medical Information ♦ Legislation ♦ Recent Posts ♦ Forums & Interviews ♦ Stimulus Payments ♦ Unemployment Insurance ♦ Small Businesses ♦ Veterans
Since March, the House of Representatives has considered four (4) major pieces of legislation addressing COVID-19. Two of these bills have been valuable, while one needed technical corrections. The fourth was an inapproprate attempt to advance the far-left agenda. Below is a list of these bills, their status, and my position.
Bill #1: March 4, 2020
Title: “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act” (H.R. 6074)
- My Vote: **YES**
- Status: This bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 6, 2020.
- Description: This $8.3 billion emergency spending package was our federal government’s first effort in the fight against COVID-19. The bill allocated money for vaccine development, stockpiles of equipment, personnel and other resources needed for rapid reaction to the pandemic. It also allocated approximately $400 million to state and local governments to supplement their response efforts.
Bill #2: March 14, 2020
Title: “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (H.R. 6201)
- My Vote: I originally voted to NO because urgent technical changes were required to avoid destroying small businesses. After the appropriate changes were made, the final version was adopted by unanimous consent in the House of Representatives.
- Status: The final (corrected) version of this bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020.
- Description: while Bill #1 (above) was the help various agencies combat the coronavirus, this stated purpose of this bill was to help Americans affected by disease. This legislation had many provisions, including free testing, food assistance, (correctly worded) sick-leave provisions, and an expansion of unemployment benefits.
Unfortunately, this legislation was recklessly rushed through the House. In the original bill was language that would have destroyed countless small businesses by requiring them to offer 12 weeks of paid leave for workers, which most small companies simply could not afford in the face of steep revenue losses during this pandemic.
By originally voting NO, I was one of only 40 Members in the House willing to protect those businesses and the millions of families who rely on them for jobs. After national outrage set in over those preventable mistakes, the House quickly adopted technical changes to fix them. That was obviously the right thing to do. With the appropriate changes in place, the final version was adopted by unanimously consent in the House of Representatives.
Bill #3: March 27, 2020
Title: “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or “CARES Act” for short (H.R. 748)
- My Vote: **YES**
- Status: This bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020.
- Description: The CARES Act was the third legislative response to COVID-19, and by far the most significant. This piece of legislation passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. Among other provisions, it provided:
- Direct checks to Americans: Up to $1,200 per adult, $500 per child. (Incrementally less for those earning between $75,000 and $100,000, with no checks above $100,000).
- $150 billion urgently sent to shore up our hospitals and healthcare systems, and raise stockpiles of critical items like ventilators, masks, gloves, etc.
- $350 billion in loan guarantees for small businesses to cover payroll and manage debt. This program is known as the Paycheck Protection Program. (Parts of these loans are forgivable under certain criteria.)
- Critical funds to help the FDA’s emergency drug approval processes.
- Extension of unemployment insurance programs for up to four (4) months for the millions who are now jobless
- Additional financial help for states and local governments to support their efforts to combat COVID-19.
- Six-month deferment on federal student loan payments, without penalty, as well as all student loans without interest.
- $28 billion for our nation’s agricultural and farming industries.
Bill #4: May 15, 2020
Title: the “Heroes Act” (H.R. 6800)
- My Vote: a resounding NO
- Status: This bill was passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, but is not expected to be considered in the Senate. Furthermore, President Trump indicated he would not sign this bill if it were to pass Congress.
- Description: The bill was packed with unsustainable spending and blatant attempts to further the left’s agenda. Not only does would this legislation cost $3 trillion dollars, but it also has more than 70 appropriations in excess of a billion dollars each. Among the various far-left provisions, it would:
- enable immigrants to receive $1,200 in economic stimulus payments by removing the requirement to have a Social Security Number and replacing it with only an Individual Taxpayer ID Number.
- impose federal mandates on how states must run their elections, particularly related to mail-in voting and voter ID.
- authorize additional multimillion-dollar grants for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
- provide an extension of the additional unemployment insurance payments of $600 per week that have made it very difficult for many employers to recall furloughed workers.
- provide a major break to millionaires and billionaires by removing the cap on the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted from their federal tax returns.