By Eric Rosario
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee rolled out its unprecedented relief plan for American families in the states and the territories. California Congresswoman Maxine Waters led the effort with her vice chairman, Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas.
Among the many benefits to American residents, if this measure passes into law, is an up-to-$2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child cash benefit that will be delivered as soon as possible via a digital wallet for as long as the recession lasts.
Also included (you can find the exhaustive list after the release from Mr. San Nicolas below:
Suspension of rental payments for renters in assisted housing
A ban on all evictions and foreclosures
Relief for car loan and credit card payments
A ban on car repossessions
A prohibition on debt collection and wage garnishments
Forgiveness of up to $10,000 on student loans
Rental and utility payment assistance for people who are not in assisted housing programs
Waiver of all matching requirements in the territories, freeing up tens of millions of dollars in Guam and the CNMI alone
Emergency homeless assistance
Assistance to service coordinators of elderly households
A ton of initiatives to help small businesses
A requirement for the Federal Reserve to purchase municipal debt securities to support state, territory and local government financing during the pandemic
The House is expected to take up the measure quickly. Mr. San Nicolas, in the meantime, is asking Guam's businesses to have patience and to continue to provide paychecks to their employees, promising that some form of major relief aid is coming.
"Right now, businesses are laying people off, cutting hours, closing their doors, due to business being pretty much dead.
"The problem is that when you displace the workforce in such a rapid way, it causes economic shocks that damage the economy faster than we can roll out relief and stimulus to sustain it.
"And this is important from a health standpoint, because unemployed people are surely uninsured. The propensity to congregate goes up as families group up to help support unemployed family members, undermining social distancing. Desperate families will find themselves reaching out MORE for help and likely joining groups of others in the same boat.
"Part of flattening the health curve is flattening the economic curve.
"On that note, I am asking all business owners, landlords, employers and managers and HR departments to PLEASE...hold on to your workforce as long as you can - even for just three more weeks - so we can have the time we need to roll out the federal relief packages being worked on. Even if their is no business to be had during the period, just preventing the compounded damage will help tremendously for relief to be effective.
"Keeping the workers paid and insured for just 3 weeks will make all the difference in helping to contain virus spread AND reducing the economic damage.
"Businesses please help other businesses. Give them your best discounts or extend their payables out just a bit. Banks defer a month of debt service. GPA and GWA defer a utility billing cycle or discount it to bare bones. Everyone do whatever you can to help everyone pull through for just three more weeks without letting people go or cutting their payrolls.
"I promise if we can all help each other hold on, the federal economic relief packages will kick in and pick up the slack very quickly, helping all of us to pull through together." - Congressman Michael San Nicolas
The following is news from the Office of Congressman Michael San Nicolas, followed by the details of the economic stimulus package he announces:
The Financial Service Committee, of which Guam sits as Vice Chair, introduced HR 6321 the Financial Protections for America's Consumers, States, Businesses, and Vulnerable Populations Act.
"This measure includes individual components led by various Members of the Financial Services Committee who came together to package comprehensive stimulus measures for all Americans," opened Congressman San Nicolas.
"Territories are fully included, and we have also contributed to all of America by leading a provision to waive federal matching fund requirements for local governments, saving millions that can go to pressing needs in individual communities throughout the country," Congressman San Nicolas added.
"For the people, we have direct cash assistance, debt suspension, rent support, eviction restrictions, and many other provisions to ensure that everyone is able to make it through during these times," Congressman San Nicolas continued.
"With HR 6321 we have set the stage for this recovery package to be focused on the people who need it and the small businesses that make this country strong, truly an all-American response," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.
Here are the main points of the plan:
Title I: Protecting Consumers, Renters, Homeowners, and People Experiencing Homelessness
Chairwoman Waters’ bill to provide monthly direct payments of up to $2,000 per eligible adult (who makes less than $115,000, or $230,000 for joint filers) and $1,000 per child for as long as the crisis and potential recession may last, and mandating funds be made available to consumers as quickly as possible. The bill will also give the unbanked access to their funds through a new digital wallet they can open at a financial institution. (Section 101)
Representative Nydia Velazquez’s (D-NY) bill to suspend rental payments for renters in assisted housing. (Section 102)
Representative Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s (D-IL) bill to ban all evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic. (Section 103)
Representative Joyce Beatty’s (D-OH) bill to provide relief for consumers on their non-mortgage credit payments, such as a car loan or credit card, during the pandemic. (Section 104)
Representative Denny Heck’s (D-WA) bill to provide $100 billion in rental and utility payment assistance to renters in non-assisted housing. (Section 105)
Representative Ayanna Pressley’s (D-MA) bill to provide $15.5 billion in emergency homeless assistance. (Section 106)
Representative Denny Heck’s (D-WA) bill to allow tribes and tribally designated housing entities to access federal homeless assistance grant funding to address homelessness on tribal lands. (Section 107)
Representative David Scott’s (D-GA) bill to create a $35 billion homeowner assistance fund. (Section 108)
Representative Wm. Lacy Clay Jr.’s (D-MO) bill to ban all foreclosures and repossessions during the pandemic (including manufactured homes, RVs, and Cars), provide mortgage forbearance for single family and multifamily mortgages, and establish a facility by the Federal Reserve to reimburse servicers for lost revenue and expenses. (Section 109)
Representative Al Lawson’s (D-FL) bill to prohibit debt collection, repossession and garnishment of wages during the pandemic. (Section 111)
Representative Brad Sherman’s (D-CA) bill to prohibit negative consumer credit reporting during the pandemic. (Section 112)
Representative Madeleine Dean’s (D-PA) bill to require the government to make student loan payments during the pandemic and the following six months, as well as forgive up to $10,000 of student loan debt for each borrower. (Section 113)
Representative Brad Sherman’s (D-CA) bill to allow more flexible appraisal requirements and other mortgage processing requirements that may require in-person contact during the pandemic. (Section 114)
Representative Stephen Lynch’s (D-MA) bill to provide $15 billion for Community Development Block Grants. (Section 115)
Representative Emanuel Cleaver’s (D-MO) bill to provide waivers and other modified requirements and authorities to ensure that the federal government, as well as state, territory and local governments, can nimbly respond to the pandemic, including by suspending work and community service requirements for the duration of the pandemic. (Section 116)
Representative Katie Porter’s (D-CA) bill to provide $300 million for service coordinators to assist elderly households. (Section 117)
Representative Al Green’s (D-TX) bill to provide $290 million for fair housing enforcement. (Section 118)
Representative Cindy Axne’s (D-IA) bill to provide $700 million in funding for housing counseling. (Section 119)
Representative Juan Vargas’ (D-CA) bill to provide an additional $3 billion of funding for the emergency production of medical supplies through the Defense Production Act. (Section 120)
Title II: Assisting Small Businesses and Community Financial Institutions
Representative Joyce Beatty’s (D-OH) bill to direct the Federal Reserve to provide loans to small businesses, family farms, and independent contractors during the pandemic. (Section 201)
Representative Joyce Beatty’s (D-OH) bill to establish a $50 billion Small Business Financial Assistance Program at the Treasury Department to provide expeditious zero interest loans and loan guarantees to small businesses that can be forgiven after one year if a small business maintains its workforce levels. (Section 202)
Representative Ed Perlmutter’s (D-CO) bill to provide commercial rental and other payment relief for landlords, small businesses, and non-profit organizations during the pandemic. (Section 203)
Representative Ben McAdams’ (D-UT) bill to reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to provide $10 billion for bolstering state programs that support small business financing. (Section 204)
Representative Sylvia Garcia’s (D-TX) bill to provide the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) $3 billion to support full implementation of the Initiative to Build Growth Equity Funds for Minority Businesses. (Section 205)
Representative Alma Adams’ (D-NC) bill to provide $1 billion for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to support small businesses as well as low-income communities. (Section 206)
Representative Gregory Meeks’ (D-NY) bill to support minority depository institutions (MDIs) and impact banks that serve low-income populations. (Section 207)
Representative Al Green’s (D-TX) bill to provide zero interest loans to MDIs and CDFIs during the pandemic. (Section 208)
Representative Al Green’s (D-TX) bill to reauthorize the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program through December 2021 and provide stability and certainty to small banks, credit unions and consumers. (Section 209)
Title III. Supporting State, Territory and Local Governments
Representative Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) bill to clarify the Federal Reserve’s authority and require it to purchase municipal debt securities to support state, territory and local government financing during the pandemic. (Section 301)
Representative Michael San Nicolas’ (D-GU) bill to waive matching requirements for municipal governments. (Section 302)
Title IV: Promoting Financial Stability and Transparent Markets
Representative Gregory Meeks’ (D-NY) bill to temporarily prohibit federal financial regulators from adopting rules not directly related to responding to the coronavirus for the length of the crisis. (Section 401)
Representative Sean Casten’s (D-IL) bill to impose a temporary ban on stock buybacks. (Section 402)
Representative Nydia Velazquez’s (D-NY) bill to require public companies to disclose risks to the disruption of their supply chains. (Section 403)
Representative Brad Sherman’s (D-CA) bill to require public companies to disclose their risks and exposures to pandemics. (Section 404)
Representative Dean Phillips’ (D-MN) bill to establish a Congressional COVID–19 Aid Oversight Panel, and to authorize the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) to coordinate audits and investigations in connection with Federal aid provided to corporations related to COVID–19. (Section 405)
Representative Emanuel Cleaver's (D-MO) bill to authorize the Administration’s request to participate in the replenishment of two concessional windows at the multilateral development banks—the 19th replenishment of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA-19), to which the U.S. has pledged $3 billion; and the fifteenth replenishment of the African Development Fund (AfDF-15), to which the U.S. has pledged $514 million, and to authorize the Administration’s request for the U.S. to participate in the 7th general capital increase for the African Development Bank, to which the U.S. has pledged approximately $437 million of paid-in capital. (Section 406)
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) bill to require large corporate beneficiaries of government assistance to comply with restrictions on executive compensation, golden parachutes, stock buybacks, and dividend payments, and to protect the government and taxpayer when providing assistance by requiring the Treasury to receive a senior equity stake in companies receiving assistance.(Sections 407 and 408)
Chairwoman Waters’ bill to authorize the Administration’s request to double the U.S. commitment to IMF’s emergency backstop facility, known as the New Arrangements to Borrow, or NAB (from $39 billion to approximately $78 billion), in order to provide additional resources to the IMF in the event of a major financial crisis or to deal with exceptional situations that pose a systemic threat. (Section 409)
Chairwoman Waters’ bill to authorize the capital increase for the International Finance Corporation. (Section 410)
Title V: Pandemic Planning and Guidance for Consumers and Regulators
Representative Vicente Gonzalez’s (D-TX) bill to require the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to convene a special meeting with respect to the COVID–19 emergency, to update the Commission’s website with tools to help individuals recover from any financial hardship as a result of the COVID–19 emergency. (Section 501)
Representative Jennifer Wexton’s (D-VA) bill to require agencies to automatically issue guidance when a pandemic is declared. (Section 502)
Chairwoman Waters’ (D-CA) bill to require the SEC to issue guidance on preparedness, flexibility, relief, and investor protection for investors in pandemics and major disasters, including relevant disclosures. (Section 503)
Representative Josh Gottheimer’s (D-NJ) bill to update the 2017 “Pandemic Influenza Plan” and the National Planning Frameworks to add the requirement that preparedness and recovery planning include a pre-crisis menu of options focused on economic, monetary, and consumer financial issues. (Section 504)