Federal relief could be on the way in a matter of weeks after President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law March 27.

The act provides $2 trillion in relief for businesses and individuals, including direct payments to may Americans. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the act March 25 and the U.S. House of Representatives passed it March 27. A few hours later Friday, the president signed it.

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin), whose district includes Burnet County, voted for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

“The American people have always stepped up to the plate in times of need,” Williams said in a statement from his office. “Our job in Congress is to provide the reinforcements necessary to move forward — and I am proud that by passing then CARES Act, we have delivered.”

Under the act, some Americans would get a one-time tax rebate check in the amount of $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple, and $500 per eligible child. The amount is reduced for individuals making more than $75,000; head of households making more than $112,500; and married couples making more than $150,000.

“My top priorities have been providing direct assistance to our Texan families desperately in need of relief and those unexpectedly out of work due to this unprecedented pandemic,” Williams added.

The bill also offers support to small businesses in the way of a $350 billion small business loan program; increases Small Business Administration loan amounts; delays payroll taxes for employers for two years; and allows for net operating losses from 2018-20 to be counted toward future tax liabilities to increase tax flow.

It also will expand telehealth services to rural areas and allocate $1.32 billion for community health centers.

The act provides $16 billion for ventilators and personal protective gear for health care workers.

“I’ve also been working to provide critical resources for our heath care providers on the front lines working around the clock to protect our families and heal our communities and ensuring our Main Street businesses can begin the road to recovery while maintaining maximal employment,” Williams stated. Though much of our daily life has been interrupted for the time being, we will keep working together and looking for opportunities where we can strengthen our economy. I have full faith that the American spirit will carry us through this crisis.”

The full text of the bill is available online.

For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resources webpage.

editor@thepicayune.com

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