Indianz.Com Video: CARES Act #Coronavirus Relief for Indian Country

Rep. Markwayne Mullin: The CARES Act brings relief for Americans

Mullin' It Over Column

Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis and the American people need help.

Over the past couple weeks, I have had countless calls with constituents and they have all said the same thing: they’re hurting. Our small businesses, our farmers and ranchers, our teachers, our Tribal governments, our health care workers and first responders on the front lines -- we are all hurting right now. While this bill won’t fix all our problems, it brings some much-needed relief and confidence that the federal government is taking action to combat this crisis.

Through this bill, most Americans will receive a cash rebate to help them get through this difficult time. All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals or $150,000 married filing jointly, who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible social security number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married filing jointly) rebate. They are also eligible for an additional $500 rebate per child.

This applies for those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable means-tested benefit programs, such as SSI benefits. The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer's income exceeds the phase-out threshold ($75,000 individual, $150,000 married). The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with income exceeding $99,000, for head of household filers with one child exceeding $145,000, and joint filers with no children exceeding $198,000. If you have questions about this rebate, you can visit or you can call my office.

Many small businesses have been forced to shut their doors in order to comply with guidance from state and local authorities. The CARES Act provided $349 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guarantees to help businesses across the country. SBA loans can be used for payroll costs, group health care benefits, employee salaries, interest on any mortgage obligation, rent, utilities, and any other debt obligations occurred before Feb. 15, 2020. If you are a small business owner and would like more information on the help available to you, please contact my office.

The CARES Act is truly an example of a whole government approach to fighting this pandemic. It helps medical professionals get access to the equipment they need on the front lines and agriculture producers put food on tables across our country. States, Tribes and local governments got necessary funding to continue their response efforts and industries who have been hit hardest by COVID-19 are also seeing relief.

This is only the beginning of a long recovery from coronavirus. In Oklahoma, we call it the Oklahoma Standard. Neighbors helping neighbors through hard times. Together, as a country, we will help our neighbors and get through this together.

Markwayne Mullin, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, was first elected to serve the people of Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District in November 2012. He is currently serving his fourth term in office. Mullin and his wife Christie have six children. The Mullin family currently resides in Westville, Oklahoma, on the same family farm where Markwayne was raised.

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