A Senate GOP "CARES 2" framework was unveiled by top Republican senators on July 27. The framework, which consists of several Senate bills introduced on the same day.
These bills make up the HEALS Act -- Health; economic assistance; liability protection; and schools,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said from the Senate floor on July 27. Most notably, most of the tax-related provisions, as introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, fall under the 168-page American Workers, Families, and Employers Assistance Bill.
Additionally, a section-by-section summary of the bill details the various tax-related provisions, which include some of the following:
- additional 2020 recovery rebates for individuals;
- enhanced employee hiring and retention payroll tax credit;
- temporary expansion of work opportunity tax credit; and the
- safe and healthy workplace tax credit.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Additionally, Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., unveiled on July 27 the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Bill, which would provide additional PPP assistance. According to a section-by-section summary of the bill, the measure has the following four parts:
- 7(a) Loans to Recovery Sector Businesses;
- PPP Second Draw Loans;
- PPP Improvements; and
- Small Business Growth and Domestic Production Investment Facility.
"The bill would allow the most severely affected small businesses to receive a second PPP loan," as noted in Rubio’s press release. "It would also create a new long-term recovery loan program, which would provide working capital to industries that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic."
Also expected to be included in the HEALS "CARES 2" package, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on July 27 introduced the Supporting America’s Restaurant Worker’s Bill. The measure would provide a temporary allowance of a 100 percent deduction for business meals through the end of 2020.
The Road Ahead for HEALS Act:
Now, both House and Senate Republican and Democratic lawmakers will begin negotiations to reach a final bipartisan measure. Democrats on Capitol Hill are already expressing opposition to Senate Republicans’ proposal, especially as related to the unemployment benefits provisions. It remains to be seen whether a bipartisan agreement will be reached before Congress is set to recess on August 7.