Marco Rubio Champions Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act to Increase EIPs

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is backing a proposal to increase Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to Americans.

Last week, Rubio threw his support behind U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s, R-La., “Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act.” The Florida Republican’s office noted the bill “would provide increased Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to American families by equalizing EIPs per person, regardless of age or dependent status.” Other backers of the bill include U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.

“The Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act would provide payments of $1,000 for both adults and children with Social Security Numbers (SSNs). A family of four would receive an additional $600 more than under the CARES Act. The legislation ensures that all U.S. citizens are treated equally regardless of marital status,” Rubio’s office noted.

That last point is a major focus for Rubio who, at the end of June, introduced a proposal to reform the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” to help Americans married to foreign nationals.

With the backing of U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, Rubio introduced the “American Citizen Coronavirus Relief Act,” insisting the CARES Act needs to be reformed since it “prohibits U.S. citizens who jointly file taxes with a spouse that does not have a Social Security Number from receiving a recovery rebate.” Rubio’s bill “would ensure a U.S. citizen will not be denied federal coronavirus assistance because he or she is married to a foreign national who is not currently a citizen of the United States” and “maintains the SSN requirement but would allow U.S. citizens to receive Economic Impact Payment (EIP) the same way a single tax filer would.” Cassidy’s bill contains much of Rubio’s proposal.

On Thursday, Rubio explained why he was backing Cassidy’s bill.

“As Congress continues to negotiate another economic response to the pandemic, we should prioritize direct assistance to those who need it most,” Rubio said. “American families are among the hardest hit, facing unexpected challenges like homeschooling, child care shortages, and unemployment. Congress must take steps to help ensure that parents and children are able to manage and recover from the impact of this crisis as the American people continue to navigate these uncertain times.”

“So much of the burden of the pandemic has fallen on parents and children,” Cassidy said. “This legislation prioritizes their needs by providing resources for school supplies, childcare, and other unexpected expenses.”

“This is about putting more money in the hands of Montana families who are struggling to get by because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Daines said. “This will increase the amount of money Montana moms and dads can receive in their direct checks for each child and other dependents including those with disabilities. Montana families are dealing with extraordinary challenges as a result of the pandemic. This will give them an extra boost during these tough times.”

“With schools moving children to online learning from home, families in Utah and across the country have experienced unexpected challenges and additional costs for supplies during the last several months,” Romney said. “As we consider additional relief measures, we should prioritize families by providing them with resources to help with the extra expenses they face as a result of COVID-19.”

Cassidy’s proposal would “disburse Economic Impact Payments of $1,000 for both adults and children with Social Security Numbers equally, $2,000 if filing jointly” and therefore, under it, a “family of four would receive $4,000, which is $600 more than they received under the CARES Act.” The bill would also include increase eligibility for adult dependents, including those with disabilities or college students, and to citizens married to foreign nationals.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.


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