AUSTIN, Texas — This week, some Americans should start getting economic relief payments from the federal government to help ease the financial burden of COVID-19. But just as those payments are rolling out, lawmakers are raising red flags about other items in the CARES Act.
U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) said the CARES Act was quickly pushed through due to the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now the House Oversight Committee is starting to comb through the 335-page bill, line by line.
Doggett said one of the most glaring things he's seen is a provision to allow wealthy Americans to declare tax losses that average Americans can't. According to Doggett's office, the Joint Committee on Taxation published a document estimating that the provision, along with one other related to real estate, together will reduce government revenue by $195 billion over 10 years.
"There's one provision that we've uncovered in the bill that will provide more in relief to those who earn $1 million a year than went to all the hospitals in the country, indeed that went to all the local and state governments in the country," Doggett said.
Doggett said the provision was added to the bill in the Senate, but he and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) are introducing legislation to take it out.
Doggett said he is also working to get the Trump Administration to re-open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. He said while that's still not an option for all Americans, people who were recently laid off from their jobs can apply.
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