Trump Signs $2 Trillion Bipartisan CARES Act

President Donald Trump on March 27 signed the $2 trillion bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). The House approved the historically large emergency relief measure by voice vote just hours before Trump’s signature. The CARES Act cleared the Senate unanimously on March 25.

Wolters Kluwer Special Report CARES Act Tax Briefing

Here, Wolters Kluwer provides a detailed discussion of the tax-related provisions enacted under the CARES Act:  Special Report CARES Act (COVID-19 Economic Stimulus) Tax Briefing.

Come On, Let’s Work Together

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who spent many late nights in the U.S. Capitol recently while participating in bipartisan negotiations on the Senate’s CARES Act, has thanked Republican and Democratic leadership in both the Senate and the House for their bipartisanship. “I am pleased that Congress has passed the CARES Act, the largest economic relief package in history for hardworking Americans and businesses that, through no fault of their own, have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak,” Mnuchin said in a March 27 press release. “President Trump is fully committed to ensuring that American workers and businesses have the resources they need.  This legislation provides much-needed relief to help our fellow Americans overcome this difficult but temporary challenge.”

Phase Four Economic Relief Package

The CARES Act is considered “phase three” of bipartisan lawmakers and the Trump administration’s collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., have said they want to see a fourth economic relief measure.

“Our work to help Americans during this emergency won’t stop here. Congress must do more to address the significant public health and economic consequences of the coronavirus,” Neal said in a March 27 statement. “In a fourth response package, I want to provide any needed additional support to people who have lost their incomes and to affected patients and health care providers. We should take bold action to improve our country’s economic health too,” he added. Additionally, Neal said that he would like to see the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit expanded, as well as infrastructure investments to put people back to work and reinvigorate the economy.

Legislative View – Looking Back and Ahead

“From a legislative view, the CARES Act shares the key characteristics that we’ve seen with other emergency legislation, namely bipartisan willingness to forego typical concerns over cost and take action at unusual speed,” John Gimigliano, principal-in-charge of federal legislative and regulatory services in the Washington National Tax practice of KPMG LLP, told Wolters Kluwer on March 27.

“Similar dynamics were apparent in other emergency legislation including bills enacted after the attacks of September 11, Hurricane Katrina, and during the financial crisis,” Gimigliano added. “But those precedents also show that each of those three characteristics begins to break down with successive legislative attempts. That made quick passage of the CARES Act key and the development of a ‘coronavirus 4’ package something to watch closely.”

By Jessica Jeane, J.D. – Senior News Editor and Content Management Analyst

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