DC Tax Flash: Senate to Vote Thursday on New GOP Relief Package

Tax Alert

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today introduced new targeted virus relief legislation and announced that he plans to bring it to a vote on Thursday. The legislation would need 60 votes to advance, which is impossible without Democratic support. Even still, Republicans hope to demonstrate unified support among their 51-member caucus for another round of federal assistance ahead of the November elections.

As currently drafted, the "Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act" includes the following major provisions:

  • Liability protections for businesses, schools and health care workers
  •  Authorization for states to provide a $300 weekly unemployment bonus
  •  $257 billion in new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program
  •  New rules to secure domestic medical and critical mineral supply streams 
  •  Emergency funding for various initiatives, including education, child care, mail delivery, contact tracing, vaccine research and virus therapies, agriculture and livestock, and more

On tax policy, the bill also includes a few newly proposed provisions. One would increase (to $600 for individuals and to $1,200 for couples) the CARES Act above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions in 2020.

Targeting K-12 education, the bill would also create a temporary tax credit for certain contributions to scholarship-granting institutions based on a proposal by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Another provision would temporarily permit 529 savings accounts to cover certain K-12 education expenses, including private and religious schooling. The provision is based on Sen. Ted Cruz's legislation (S. 157).

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