March 27, 2020

Washington, D.C. – South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson today issued a statement following the bipartisan passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Previously, Johnson supported two legislative packages to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and provide federal reimbursement to small employers for paid sick and emergency leave provided to their employees. Rep. Johnson voted in favor of the bill after taking the first flight out of Sioux Falls this morning to vote in person. The bill will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“In a matter of weeks, the lives of most Americans and the strongest economy in the world came to a halt,” said Johnson. “From day one, Congress has taken its response to COVID-19 seriously. The price tag of acting is high, but the price of inaction is higher. During this time of uncertainty, America needs help and hope from its leadership. This bill provides both.”

“Over the last several weeks – from farmers to small business owners – I have heard from thousands of South Dakotans who are hurting financially. The CARES Act will provide immediate relief to those individuals. The CARES Act will allow small businesses to stay the course and everyday Americans will see a boost in their bank accounts they otherwise wouldn’t see. During a worldwide pandemic, I’m grateful Republicans and Democrats came together to help our small businesses, our farmers, our health care workers, and our American families.”

The CARES Act will:

· Provide the Small Business Administration (SBA) with authority to provide loan support to small businesses under 500 employees. Eight weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs may be forgiven if an employer maintains staff on payroll.

· Provide a $1200 tax rebate “check” to individuals and $2400 to joint return filers with an extra $500 per child. Individuals earning over $75,000 and joint filers earning over $150,000 will receive less.

· Defer student loan payments for 6 months, through September 30, 2020.

· Provide nearly $24 billion in relief to our farmers and ranchers.

· Increase Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits with the goal to provide monthly funds comparable to an average American paycheck.

· Provide $150 billion to States, Territories, and Tribal governments to use for expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with a minimum of $1.25 billion for states.