Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019

Floor Speech

Date: March 31, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss the bill that we are voting on today, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (``CARES Act''). This bill is incredibly important to all of our citizens and communities. Our country is going through a war with this new virus, and we need to get every resource possible out into our communities to help fight this pandemic. We also need to protect our workers and keep them paid so they can purchase the food and supplies they need to get their families through this crisis safely.

That is what I want to speak to. One of the last provisions added to this bill was Title VI, which establishes a Coronavirus Relief Fund that provides $150 billion for the Secretary of Treasury to disseminate to States, Tribal Governments, and units of local government in fiscal year 2020. These funds are to alleviate severe financial pressure these governments are under during this public health emergency.

Specifically, the funds are intended to cover expenditures that were not accounted for in the budgets of these governments prior to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. For most of these governments, their budgets are based on the revenues they accounted for over the course of the fiscal year, including from revenues anticipated to be generated from business enterprises. These anticipated revenues are what these governments use to pay the wages of their employees.

I want to memorialize that it is the intent of this Chamber that the funds in the Coronavirus Relief Fund are intended to help cover the loss of revenues that would have otherwise been collected and generated by these governments to cover the wages of their employees. We need to make sure these employees continue to be paid and that every effort is made to prevent them from losing their jobs during this pandemic.

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