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Lawmakers Continue Phase Four Economic Relief Talks; “CARES 2” in the Works

Lawmakers are continuing talks on a “phase four” economic relief package in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. To that end, the House’s “CARES 2” package is currently in the works and could see a floor vote soon.


President Trump signed into law the $2 trillion bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27. The CARES Act is known on Capitol Hill as the third phase of legislation aimed to address the national emergency. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said that a House floor vote on a “CARES 2” package could happen soon.

According to Pelosi, the CARES 2 package would (1) go further in assisting small businesses (including farmers), (2) extend and strengthen unemployment benefits, and (3) distribute additional direct payments.

Paycheck Protection Program

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is seeking an increase in funding for the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program. Accordingly, several bipartisan lawmakers have called for congressional action to provide the necessary funding needed for small businesses. The administration is reportedly asking for additional funding for the largely overrun loan program.

“Through this tax break, workers can get back on payrolls and stay there. By working with their bank, small businesses can get eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans,” House Ways and Means ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Tex., said. “If the business [including churches] uses the money to maintain payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.”

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