WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 748, the CARES Act, which provides more than $2 trillion in economic relief to combat the Coronavirus outbreak.
“The coronavirus poses an unprecedented challenge to our health and our way of life, and requires immediate action and coordination across the state, local, and federal levels. What we face is first and foremost a public health crisis, and our primary goal must be to get this disease under control. Until we do so, there’s no amount of federal dollars that will allow us to keep our economy shut down indefinitely. Recognizing this, the CARES Act surges badly needed resources to the hospital systems, healthcare workers, and first responders on the frontlines of this fight. It devotes billions of dollars towards testing and other critical supplies, and builds on the bipartisan efforts I’ve led to ensure states like Wisconsin have the resources they need to defeat this disease.
“The bill also contains provisions to mitigate the significant economic damage that this virus is causing. Throughout these negotiations, I’ve maintained that a primary focus of this bill must be Wisconsin’s small businesses and hardworking families that have been forced to upend their livelihoods to help slow the spread. Fortunately, this bill alleviates some of the burdens the “2.0” bill placed on Wisconsinites and gets cash immediately into the hands of those who need it most, both through one-time cash payments to hardworking families and expedited loans — that may be forgiven in some circumstances — to small businesses.
“Make no mistake, this bill is not perfect. Aside from the fact some of my colleagues used this crisis to fund unrelated priorities, there are legitimate questions surrounding the expansion of certain unemployment provisions and there are bound to be unintended consequences given the size of the bill and the speed at which it rightly moved in response to this crisis. And ultimately, given the cost of coronavirus, future Congress’ will need to step up and make tough decisions to get our fiscal house in order. Toward that end, we must immediately begin planning for the next phase of this fight. What this bill and its price tag also makes clear is that indefinite lockdown is far too costly as a long-term strategy. We have bought ourselves time and we must use it wisely to prepare to win. Winning will mean keeping people safe, our healthcare system stable, and our economy thriving. With the right strategy and resources, we can do it all. It is time to go on offense and play to our unique strengths as a state. In Wisconsin we have an uncommon amount of common sense and community strength. Let’s engage both and shift to a bottom-up, community-based strategy, one that places our hope and faith in our neighbors — our healthcare professionals, workers, small businesses, churches and charities — and their ability to take care of each other in a time of crisis. Wisconsin can and must defeat this disease without defeating ourselves.”
The bill includes a number of provisions that help Northeast Wisconsin families and small businesses, including:
  • More than $100 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers, including $27 billion for research on tests, treatments, medical supplies and PPE
  • One-time tax rebate checks of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, and $500 child set to phase out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples.
  • Expanded unemployment insurance to cover gig workers and self-employed.
  • A paycheck protection program of $350 billion in loans to small businesses with less than 500 employees to meet 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance via 100% federally-guaranteed loans which could be forgiven if employers maintain their payroll during the covered period.
Earlier this week, Rep. Gallagher outlined in the Wisconsin State Journal why it’s critical Wisconsinites use resources like those provided in H.R. 748 to control the spread of coronavirus and develop a plan for how Wisconsin can smartly and safely begin to re-open our economy.
Rep. Gallagher has also worked around the clock to get Wisconsin hospitals the supplies they need to combat this crisis. He has joined his Wisconsin colleagues in calling on the Department of DefenseFood and Drug Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services to do all they can to get critical supplies like masks, ventilators, and reagent to Wisconsin.
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