We’re working hard to get immediate relief to the American people during this Coronavirus outbreak…–Rep. Tom Reed
The Problem Solvers Caucus’ proposed recommendations include:
- Economic Response for Businesses, Employees and the Self-Employed
- Immediate, Direct Financial Payments to Individuals: Limited only to the crisis, significantly increase unemployment insurance benefits, including payment amounts, for hourly and salaried workers, under a certain income threshold. This relief should focus on mid-to-low-income workers and furloughed workers. Provisions to be made for freelancers and the self-employed to ensure the same relief.
- Bridge Loans to Help Keep Businesses in Business: Low-or-zero-interest loans to businesses of all sizes willing to keep their employees (furlough, but preserving benefits) in their positions during the coronavirus crisis. Must include long-term repayment options, and not exclude any industries.
- Allow Individuals and Businesses to Defer Mortgage Payments and Rent: During the national crisis, stay all foreclosure and evictions proceedings.
- Contract and Insurance Protections for Existing Contract and Business Insurance Policies: Legislatively declare the coronavirus a public health crisis, and, as such, a qualifying event for all existing force majeure contract provisions and business interruption insurance policies.
- Loan Deferral and Forbearance: Develop and allow loan deference, modification, and forbearance mechanisms for individuals and businesses of all sizes, during the crisis (e.g. mortgages, lines of credits, student loans, and other qualifying loans).
- Refundable Tax Credit to Employers for Employee Retention: During the crisis, provide immediately advanceable, refundable tax credits for employee retention by employers — including maintaining employment status or providing benefits for furloughed employees.
- Health Care & Food Security Needs
- Speed Testing to Market: Provide additional regulatory relief at FDA and CDC for market-based testing solutions and essential supplies (e.g. testing kits, ventilators, PPEs, reagent supply, and hospital conversion).
- Childcare Enhancement: Reflecting new work and school environment, enact childcare assistance policies and regulatory relief to provide childcare coverage during term of crisis.
- Price Gouging: Enact applicable measures to strictly enforce anti-price gouging measures.
- Medical Personnel and Supplies: Where available, deploy federal government excess medical personnel and equipment capacity, including military sources (e.g. vents), to affected areas needing service.
- GI Benefits: Correct the technical glitch, so that, during this time of crisis, veterans can utilize GI benefits for online learning.
- Infrastructure Investment: Passage of a significant infrastructure package which would stimulate job growth and allow for borrowing at historically-low interest rates.
These seem reasonable; I wonder how many will be enacted? Support for Hospitals and people who must work–doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public servants, grocery clerks–should be considered. We need somehow to stop those who endanger themselves and others with indifference. What else was missed?