Good afternoon and welcome to our Weekend Update.
A great deal of the national news and discussions in Washington centered on The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act, more widely known as the HEALS Act. This is the latest Republican relief proposal to help supplement the earlier CARES Act.
I joined Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business to discuss the HEALS Act and our continued support for America’s economic and social recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Click here or below to watch.
Here are the Top Ten takeaways from the HEALS ACT proposal that you need to know:
- Extends the Paycheck Protection Program by adding $60 billion for small businesses with fewer than 300 employees and demonstrable revenue losses since the pandemic began.
- Provides $100 billion in long-term, low-cost loans to seasonal businesses and those located in low-income areas with demonstrable revenue losses since the pandemic began.
- Shields businesses, schools, charities, and other organizations from COVID-19 related lawsuits through October 1, 2024, as long as the organization makes “reasonable” efforts to follow public health guidelines.
- Includes tax credits for the increased costs to businesses needed to operate during the pandemic. It also includes an expanded tax break for businesses that are providing meals and entertainment for clients.
- Expands the employee retention tax credit for businesses that keep workers on their payrolls.
- Extends the federal supplemental unemployment benefits enacted as part of the CARES Act for two months at $200 per week on top of state-level benefits.
- Includes direct payments of $1,200 with incomes of $75,000 or less a year, with $500 in benefits for each child or adult dependent.
- Provides $105 billion in funding for schools, with flexible funding for Governors to spend based on the states’ needs. Two-thirds of the money will be allocated to schools with reopening plans. Other funds will create emergency scholarships to use toward qualified educational expenses, including private school tuition.
- Creates tax credits to encourage the manufacturing of domestic personal protective equipment.
- Includes $20 billion in aid for agriculture, which can be allotted broadly under the discretion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
This week, I spoke on the Floor to address Tuesday's House Judiciary Hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr, which was one of the most disgraceful events I have witnessed since coming to Congress. This divisive political theater, driven by Democratic leadership, is embarrassing and not productive. It was clear that they were so intent on badgering the Attorney General, they rarely allowed him to speak or answer questions. It wasn't a hearing; it was 100% political. We must be united in solving problems for the American people, not prolonging them through November 3rd General Election.
With the General Election fast approaching, an issue that has not gotten enough attention is potential voter fraud. Voter fraud exists and threatens the integrity of American elections.
I recently introduced the Stop Mail-In Voter Fraud Act to send a message to anyone who tampers with mail-in ballots, that they will face significant penalties, possibly including jail time. When a large percentage of ballots are submitted via mail, the opportunity for fraud is undoubtedly higher. Submitting a fraudulent vote is stealing a vote. Additionally, a fraudulent vote cancels out a legitimate vote cast by a law-abiding citizen, effectively suppressing that legitimate vote.
The most important thing is for a citizen to vote. Pennsylvania now has no excuse absentee ballots available. This is fine and anyone who doesn’t think they can get to the polls should get an absentee ballot. Universal ballot mailing which some states are doing is obviously fraught with potential fraud and mistakes. There are many examples from states doing this in just the past primary election. My bill will notify people that cast a ballot in your own name and no one else’s or you will face heightened criminal penalties.
There have been many instances of voter fraud in recent years, including the examples from Philadelphia, New Jersey and West Virginia. My bill is a warning to anyone who does not vote in their name that they will be subject to significant penalties, possibly including jail time.
Any fraudulent vote suppresses a legitimate, legal citizen's vote. One citizen, one vote.
I spoke to Sean Spicer on Newsmax TV ‘s show “Spicer & Co." about the United Teachers Los Angeles "research paper," which set guidelines for returning to school. Unfortunately, many of the major things they outlined had nothing to do with schools reopening. To safely return to the classroom, the Los Angeles teachers' union demanded Medicare for all, the defunding of charter schools and lastly defunding the police. It leads many to wonder if we are trying to prolong this problem or are trying to solve it in a smart, all-American way?
Click here or below to watch our interview.
I also spoke to Bob Hauer on the RJ Harris show. You can listen to our interview by clicking here. On Tuesday, I held a tele-town hall on current topics in Washington and heard questions and concerns from those around the District.
Please have a great rest of the weekend and we will talk to you soon.