Washington, D.C. - Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the framework for his coronavirus response plan that would surge cash to Americans, and make low-interest loans to businesses so they're able to pay their bills. The plan has three parts:
Part One: Surge Cash to Low- and Middle-Income Americans Using Tax-Rebate Checks
Americans who lose shifts or business during the virus emergency will need our help to make ends meet. We ought to rush checks to working- and middle-class Americans and have it in their mailbox in a matter of days, not weeks. The federal government has done this before to shore up the economy, in 2001 and 2008.
Part Two: Surge Cash Using Expanded Eligibility for Federal Assistance Programs
Americans who are sick, quarantined, laid off, furloughed, or otherwise unable to work through no fault of their own will require additional help to make ends meet. Existing federal assistance programs are designed to get resources to people in need, quickly, and Congress should expand eligibility and suspend certain requirements for federal assistance programs. These changes should be temporary and expire at the end of the crisis. These TANF and Unemployment Insurance measures complement the tax-rebate component to deliver progressively more financial assistance to Americans whose livelihoods are most harmed by the virus emergency.
Part Three: Surge Cash to Struggling Businesses Using Low-Interest Loans
In addition to protecting American workers, Congress must support struggling American businesses, so that there are jobs waiting for workers when the crisis passes. Congress has already authorized low-interest emergency loans of up to $2 million for small businesses suffering from the virus crisis. We ought to increase the caps for these loans, as well as authorize low-interest loans to any business that needs them. Providing liquidity to businesses during the coronavirus crisis is the surest tool we have to prevent a prolonged economic downturn.
Click here for a PDF version of the Cotton Plan.