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Coronavirus Updates

Neighbors,  
 
In order to keep our community updated on the latest coronavirus developments, a new resource page has been added to my website. Though info will be added regularly, you can also get the latest news by following my Twitter account at @GOPLeader for daily coronavirus alerts. My Facebook page @RepKevinMcCarthy is another great way to stay connected.
 
Here are a few local resources to help you stay informed:   
 
Websites:


Here are few additional resources and tips:  
  
Staying Healthy:

  • Make sure to wash your hands.

  • Refrain from touching your face. 

  • If you're feeling sick, stay at home.

More tips are available on the CDC's website

 Travel Assistance:

  • CDC travel health notices can be found here

  • International travel guidance issued by the Department of State is available here.

  • State Department or specific country advisories are listed here

Remember, social distancing doesn't have to mean social isolation. Be sure to check in on your families, friends, and loved ones. And if you have symptoms of coronavirus – fever, cough, shortness of breath – and believe you may have been exposed to someone with coronavirus – make sure to contact your health care provider immediately. The CDC recommends calling your provider ahead of time for guidance on how the facility is handling cases before visiting the hospital in order to keep others from being exposed.

For more information regarding coronavirus, click here.

 

UPDATES

 

Special alert for benefit recipients who don’t file a tax return and have dependents

SSA, RRB recipients with eligible children need to act by Wednesday to quickly add money to their automatic Economic Impact Payment; IRS asks for help in the ‘Plus $500 Push’

Several groups of federal benefit recipients must act by this Wednesday, April 22, so they can quickly receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payment. This pertains to SSA and RRB recipients that didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and do have dependents.

Their $1,200 payments will be issued soon and, in order to add the $500 per eligible child amount to these payments, the IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued. Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.

See IRS News Release IR-2020-76 for all the details. 

Please share this message with taxpayers and local officials and agencies in your district and state. If shared information generates questions, direct them to IRS.gov or your office can contact me. 

 

Information for Congressional Staff

From IRS Legislative Affairs Division

Congressional Affairs Program

Topic: Veterans Affairs recipients will receive automatic Economic Impact Payments

Key Points:

  • Recipients of VA benefits will automatically receive automatic Economic Impact Payments.
  • Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment with no further action needed on their part.
  • Timing on the payments is still being determined.
  • If they have children who qualify, an extra step is needed to add $500 per child onto their automatic payment of $1,200 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. They can quickly register by visiting “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” available only on IRS.gov.
  • Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments the way they receive their current benefits.

See IRS News Release IR-2020-75 for all the details.

 

Also, The IRS is regularly updating the Economic Impact Payment  and the Get My Payment tool frequently asked questions pages on IRS.gov as more information becomes available. Taxpayers should check the FAQs often for the latest additions; many common questions are answered in these. 

 

More than 80 million Economic Impact Payments have already been delivered to the nation’s taxpayers. More payments are on their way. As part of this effort, the IRS has launched two tools to help taxpayers get their payments:

 

  1. Get My Payment is helping millions of taxpayers. Since its launch on April 15, millions of  taxpayers have been able to input their direct deposit information to speed—and track—their payments. The IRS reminds taxpayers the information is updated once daily, usually overnight, so they only need to enter information once a day. 

 

  1. The Non-Filers Enter Payment Info tool is helping millions of taxpayers successfully submit basic information to receive Economic Impact Payments quickly to their bank accounts. This tool is designed only for people who are not required to submit a tax return.

 

The IRS is working hard to deliver Economic Impact Payments to all eligible Americans as quickly as possible.

 

Quick links to the Frequently Asked Questions on IRS.gov

 

Economic Impact Payments: www.irs.gov/eipfaq

Get My Payment tool: www.irs.gov/getmypaymentfaq

April 1, 2020

Treasury Department’s application for borrowers: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf

Assistance for small businesses: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses

Paycheck Protection Program loan info: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program info: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

Info on economic impact payments: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

*Note: churches and individual agriculture producers are ONLY eligible for Paycheck Protection Program Loans.

 

March 29, 2020

This week, Congress passed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third phase of coronavirus assistance to help our communities, families, and small businesses across the country. President Trump signed this bill into law Friday afternoon. This legislation will provide $2 trillion to support our health care system, state and local governments, and workers and businesses as we weather the health and economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
This bill includes $350 billion for 8 weeks of direct loan assistance to small businesses across the country through the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program allows 100 percent loan forgiveness to businesses who use the loans for payroll continuity, rent, and utilities.
 
For Americans who may need a little extra support, the federal government is also providing direct assistance in the form of $1,200 for individual taxpayers, and $500 per child. Note, these amounts are phased out when incomes exceed $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for couples filing jointly.
 
Additionally, should an individual find themselves out of work, this bill offers an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance and expands eligibility. It also makes benefits more generous by adding a $600 per week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July. The CARES Act expands unemployment insurance to cover gig workers, self-employed, and non-profit employees.

This bill will help ensure that our country stays on track as we work to deal with this public health threat. 

That's not the only good news ⟶ it's more evident than ever that kindness, generosity, and innovation have taken center stage as our communities continue to uplift one another. Here are just a few heartwarming examples:

  • A Bakersfield florist turns canceled orders into free flower arrangements for seniors 
  • Learn4Life charter school ensures its students will still be able to celebrate their achievements by hosting a virtual graduation
  • Bakersfield College has started a new five-week "Back to College" program to help displaced workers learn new skills valuable to the workforce
  • OYO Hotels across the U.S., including three in our very own backyard of Ridgecrest, have launched an initiative to allow health care workers treating coronavirus to stay at their hotels free of charge

And in case you needed an additional reminder of the tenacity of the American spirit, the Bakersfield Marriott shows just what it means to be #InItTogether.

Bakersfield Marriott
Lights at the Bakersfield Marriott read "HOPE." Photo by Rodney Thornburg and published in The Bakersfield Californian.

 

March 19, 2020

For Parents and Educators

  • The Smithsonian offers free, high-quality educational tools to keep students entertained and engaged.
  • The Library of Congress provides resources to assist teachers in future lesson planning.
  • The National Gallery of Art gives families ways to engage with the Gallery's features online.
  • The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has also released a guide with helpful STEM options to keep students engaged.

Additionally, Spectrum is offering households with students free access to internet services for 60 days. You can learn more about it here

We are #InItTogether, and communities across the country are creating ways to support one another, including making sure that school-age children still have access to free meals. Here are a few locations offering these services:

Additionally, check out the sample schedule for families provided by Bakersfield City School District

 

 

 

March 17, 2020

Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan coronavirus supplemental package to provide Americans and their families with the resources necessary to tackle economic and health challenges ahead. This bill puts American families and workers first by providing free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and paid sick leave. This legislation also includes paid emergency leave throughout this crisis while also giving America's small businesses the flexibility they need to keep millions of Americans employed during this outbreak. 
 
Here are some other top takeaways over the last few days: 

Seniors Can Video Chat Their Doctors
This week, the Trump Administration announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage to ensure that our must vulnerable seniors get the care they need away from risk settings. Seniors can see any doctor licensed in their state, whether or not they have an existing relationship, and FaceTime, Skype, or use other audiovisual technology.

Vaccine Development
The National Institutes of Health, at record speed, has also started the enrollment of Phase 1 of a clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine to create treatments that are safe and effective.

Relief for Businesses and Families
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been instructed by President Trump to provide loans to businesses affected by coronavirus. This includes low-interest rates for California small businesses negatively impacted by coronavirus. To apply, visit the SBA's website.

Additional Funding 
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) awarded the state of California $37.7 million in funding for state and local preparedness and response activities related to coronavirus. Additionally, the Federal Reserve has created the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to assist households and businesses with credit flow during this time. 

Please note: On Friday, President Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic to be a National Emergency which will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to use reserved funds to address the virus. Public-private partnerships with organizations like Target, Walmart, Google, Walgreens, and others, will also help our country to tackle this pandemic head on.

 

March 10, 2020:
Our country is also dramatically increasing the number of tests - private companies began shipping lab tests this week - which will in turn exponentially increase our testing capabilities.

Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against cruise ship travel worldwide, and recommended that older adults or people with underlying health issues avoid "crowded places, [and] non-essential travel such as long plane trips."
  
For Our Communities:

  • Guides for childcare programs and K-12 administrators. 
  • Information for parents and guardians regarding potential school closures.
  • Create a household plan.

If you think you may have coronavirus, the CDC recommends calling your provider ahead of time for guidance on how the facility is handling cases before visiting the hospital in order to keep others from being exposed. 

 

March 6, 2020: 
This week, Congress passed $8 billion in emergency funding to combat coronavirus, and today, President Trump signed this measure into law. My office also hosted a local call with the CDC and Kern County Public Health to update local health providers, hospital leaders, educators, and state and local elected officials on the status of COVID-19.

 

 

Issues: