Sen. Hawley introduces 'Family Relief Act' to help those affected by coronavirus

Josh Hawley
Posted at 9:36 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 23:38:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the community comes together during the coronavirus pandemic, legislators are doing their part to help reduce the effects that the virus will have on the nation.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R) recently introduced the Emergency Family Relief Act of 2020, meant to provide cash assistance to families unable to work and with children out of school due to fallout from COVID-19.

“Just like a tax rebate, it would be based on the number of kids and, again, financial need,” Hawley said. “I think one of the best things we can do during this time is support families, give them purchasing power, give them some peace of mind and allow them to cover their basic necessities to take care of their kids.”

While there is no such thing as free money, 41 Action News asked whether the funding families receive would later be owed back or if they would have to admit to receiving it later on.

“No, no this would be direct assistance,” Hawley said. “I mean, listen, this is a national emergency. This is something like we’ve seen very few times in our national life, and one of the reasons we have a federal government is because in times of national crisis – and that’s what we have here. We have the ability to act together as a nation and to take extraordinary steps.”

Hawley introduced the bill Tuesday, in advance of the Senate considering the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which the House of Representatives passed.

The legislation would require employers across America with fewer than 500 employees to guarantee workers paid sick and family leave.

“As these corporations come to us and they ask for bailouts, we ought to be prioritizing working families,” Hawley said, “and we ought to be prioritizing working individuals who are the backbone of our economy.”

President Donald Trump signed a coronavirus aid bill Wednesday night.

Hawley said he believes there will be “a lot of bipartisan support” for working families.

If passed, the Emergency Family Relief Act of 2020 would match the benefits of the IRS’s monthly standards for household expenses.

According to Hawley’s office, his act would provide the following on a refundable monthly basis:

  • $1,446 for a family of three.
  • $1,786 for a family of four.
  • $2,206 for a family of five.
  • Full benefits to single working parents making less than $50,000 annually and full benefits to all married parents making less than $100,000 annually before phasing down the credit value – with a benefit generous enough to cover real costs.