Senate Republicans Introduce The HEALS Act

As They Did With The CARES Act In March, Senate Republicans Are Leading On The Next Response To The Coronavirus With ‘A Tailored And Targeted Draft’ Focused On ‘Getting Kids Back In School, Getting Workers Back To Work, And Winning The Healthcare Fight Against The Virus’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[W]e have one foot in the pandemic and one foot in the recovery. The American people need more help. They need it to be comprehensive. And they need it to be carefully tailored to this crossroads. That is what this Senate majority has assembled. And that is what Chairmen Alexander, Blunt, Collins, Graham, Grassley, Rubio, and Shelby, and Senators Cornyn and Romney, are introducing today…. Together, their bills make up the HEALS Act -- Health; Economic Assistance; Liability protection; and Schools. Just like in March, with the CARES Act, Senate Republicans have authored another bold framework to help our nation. So now, we need our Democratic colleagues to reprise their part as well. They need to put aside the partisan stonewalling we saw on police reform, rediscover the spirit of urgency that got the CARES Act across the finish line, and quickly join us around the negotiating table. It will take bipartisan cooperation to make the HEALS Act into law for the American people.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/27/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “The Senate will not waste time with pointless partisanship…. We have produced a tailored and targeted draft that will cut right to the heart of three distinct crises facing our country — getting kids back in school, getting workers back to work, and winning the healthcare fight against the virus.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/27/2020)


The HEALS Act Will …

Provide ‘Additional Resources To Fight The Coronavirus And Mitigate Its Impacts On American Families, Schools, And Businesses’ Including More Funding For Testing And To Develop Vaccines And Treatments

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman: “Today I introduced legislation that provides $306 billion in additional resources to fight the coronavirus and mitigate its impacts on American families, schools, and businesses…. I believe we need to act with a sense of urgency.  The American people are fighters, but the accumulated strain of this pandemic is a serious burden on folks.  The pressures of working full-time and educating multiple kids at home all at once are simply unsustainable over the long term.  That’s not to mention the added stress so many of these families bear because they are worried about protecting elderly relatives in nursing homes.  We need to step it up for them. With the additional resources this legislation provides, I believe we can give them greater confidence that we are getting our arms around this virus.  That, I believe, is the key to unleashing the American economy and hitting our stride as a nation once again.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 7/27/2020)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO), Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Chairman: “This bill focuses on getting students back to school and getting Americans back to work as quickly and safely as possible. It also ensures we continue to work toward vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, and it provides additional resources for testing, treatment, and care. The Senate acted quickly to provide immediate, substantial relief for health care providers, schools, and employers through the CARES Act and other related legislation. Over the past few months, we have held more than 30 hearings to assess response efforts and understand what unmet needs remained. This bill reflects the priorities we have today and will have in the months ahead.” (Sen. Blunt, Press Release, 7/27/2020)


Extend Federal Assistance To Workers, Families Businesses, Health Care Providers, And Local Governments

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman: “This unprecedented expansion of federal assistance will help millions of workers, families, patients, businesses and governments survive this historic public health and economic crisis. The American people are doing their part to combat this deadly disease and the federal government must do its part as well. This legislation serves as a starting point for bipartisan negotiations. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to not let partisan differences derail progress.” (U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Press Release, 7/27/2020)

  • SEN. GRASSLEY: “Within the Finance Committee’s jurisdiction, our proposals take on several issues facing Americans during this crisis. For unemployment insurance, we boost the federal government’s reimbursements to local governments and nonprofits to 75 percent—up from 50 percent in the CARES Act to prevent further layoffs. We’ll maintain some of the current boosted benefit, while responsibly honing programs to target help where it’s needed. This transition from a flat rate to a replacement of about 70 percent of lost wages is a better approach…. Our tax provisions aim to help Americans get back to work and help businesses safely open. We expand access to the CARES Act employment tax credit for small and medium-sized businesses, and expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for larger employers hiring people currently receiving unemployment insurance. We also provide a new credit for expenses, like PPE and cleaning, needed to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees and customers. The Republican plan provides for another round of $1,200 Economic Impact Payments for most American adults, with an additional $500 provided for each dependent regardless of age. For health care providers, we relax the terms of loans received from Medicare. We ensure that Medicare telehealth options don’t expire before Congress can determine what should be made permanent. We extend for five years the CARES Act provision that pays clinics and health centers for telehealth to provide a down payment on meeting health care needs in rural America. And we freeze Medicare premiums at 2020 levels to head off a predicted spike next year. We also assist nursing home patients and workers.” (U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Press Release, 7/27/2020)


Provide Funding For Schools And Colleges To Help Them Safely Reopen

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman: “I’ve worked with Senator Blunt to help the country’s 135,000 schools and 6,000 colleges have the money they need to open with as many students physically present as is consistent with safety. The [legislation] proposes making $70 billion available for schools, another $30 billion for colleges. That means roughly $1,200 per student for public and private schools across the country. One-third of the money would be distributed automatically to all 135,000 schools…. Two-thirds of the money would go to schools that are opening with students physically present to help pay for the extra costs providing that instruction in a safe environment.” (Sen. Alexander, Floor Remarks, 7/27/2020)


Add Critical Liability Protections For Health Care Workers, Small Businesses, And Schools Acting In Good Faith

SEN. McCONNELL: “[T]ying kids, jobs, and healthcare all together, Senator Cornyn has authored strong legal liability protections so that nurses, doctors, charities, school districts, colleges, and employers can spend their next months actually reopening rather than fighting for their lives against frivolous lawsuits. We’ll preserve accountability in the event of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, but we are not going to let trial lawyers throw a party on the backs of the front-line workers and institutions who fought this new enemy on the front lines.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/27/2020)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “As states gradually reopen their economies, frontline health care workers, small businesses, and schools face a second pandemic of frivolous lawsuits threatening to bankrupt them. This legislation would protect those acting in good faith from being sued into oblivion while ensuring bad actors who willingly put their patients, employees, or customers in danger will still be held accountable.” (Sen. Cornyn, Press Release, 7/27/2020)


Revise And Extend The Paycheck Protection Program To Help Small Businesses And Underserved Communities While Giving Struggling Restaurants A Boost

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman: “The PPP and the other small business provisions under the CARES Act have been an historic lifeline to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of American workers. Now, Congress must take action to help industries and businesses, especially minority-owned small businesses and those in low-income communities, that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Senator Collins and I are announcing our proposal for a second round of PPP that is targeted at helping minority-owned small businesses and includes a new, long-term recovery loan program. I look forward to continuing to work with Senators Cardin and Shaheen to build on this proposal and come up with another bipartisan program to help small businesses and their workers.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 7/27/2020)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): “The Paycheck Protection Program has been a tremendous success. In Maine alone, approximately 3 out of 4 small businesses and 240,000 jobs are supported by the PPP.  Since its launch in early April, it has provided $519 billion in forgivable loans to 4.9 million small employers around the nation. The bill we are introducing today to allow the hardest-hit small businesses to apply for a second forgivable PPP loan builds on the strong foundation Senators Rubio, Cardin, Shaheen, and I built as members of the Small Business Task Force.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 7/27/2020)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “The Supporting America’s Restaurant Workers Act will lead to more customers, more opportunities for hardworking waitstaff and kitchen staff, and much needed revenue for small businesses across the country. We know that more than 5.5 million restaurant workers lost their jobs as the pandemic hit, and while some of those jobs have been recovered, it is clear more help is needed. This is a simple, commonsense solution to help restaurants across South Carolina and the country.” (Sen. Tim Scott, Press Release, 7/27/2020)


Help Restore Manufacturing Of Personal Protective Equipment To America

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman: “The protective equipment that our nurses and doctors and all health care workers use to protect themselves on the front line, 90 percent of it is made in China. We’re going to try to bring it back home. We have a ‘Buy America’ requirement in this bill, a $7.5 billion tax credit to reenergize American production of P.P.E. equipment. … A lot of good jobs will come from this, and we’ll be less dependent upon China when it comes to protective equipment. … The pandemic has been a wake-up call all over the board. Nothing more important to me than relocating the medical supply chain and protecting the innovation that we’re known for as a country.” (Sen. Graham, Floor Remarks, 7/27/2020)


And Present Paths To Repair COVID’s Damage To Critical Trust Funds

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): “One of the lessons the COVID-19 crisis has taught us is that it is far better to prepare and hopefully prevent a crisis than to wait for a crisis to fall upon us.” (Sen. Romney, Floor Remarks, 7/27/2020)



Related Issues: Jobs, COVID-19, Economy, Education, Appropriations, Small Business, Health Care