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Chamber calls for canceling payroll taxes, expanding loan programs amid coronavirus

Chamber calls for canceling payroll taxes, expanding loan programs amid coronavirus
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Congress and the Trump administration Monday to cancel payroll taxes, streamline loan programs for small businesses and enable the creation of credit facilities to provide loans in an effort to mitigate coronavirus economic effects.

The powerful business lobby sent a letter to President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (D-Calif.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBoebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Urgency mounts for new voting rights bill Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) with its recommendations, the first of which is to cancel payment of all payroll taxes that would have been paid by employers for the months of March, April and May.

“Temporarily cancelling the collection of these taxes will reduce the cost for employers for continuing to pay employees regardless of whether they are working or on sick leave and increase liquidity for employers to help them respond to losses in revenue,” Chamber CEO Tom Donohue wrote in the letter.

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The second proposal would allow the disaster loan program through the Small Business Association (SBA) to be available to businesses with fewer than 500 employers immediately and nationwide. 

The third proposal would enable the government to work with banks to establish a system of credit facilities that would provide loans and loan guarantees to businesses with more than 500 employees.

“Taken together, these three steps, in addition to the other actions outlined in the appendix to this letter, will ensure that businesses of all sizes and across all sectors have increased liquidity and access to necessary financing to help them weather the temporary loss in revenue caused by the Coronavirus,” Donohue wrote. 

The Chamber said they support the efforts made by Congress and the White House so far. The Senate on Monday is taking up a House-passed bill that would ensure paid sick or family leave, bolster unemployment insurance and guarantee testing for the coronavirus.

Lawmakers are also negotiating additional legislation that would a provide tax rebate, payroll tax cut and small business loans, among other measures.

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“The Chamber believes that, for almost all businesses, this is a temporary event. Much of the spending and investment forgone today will take place when the pandemic subsides. It is critical at this moment that the federal government assists individuals, families, and businesses as they traverse this period of lost income,” Donohue wrote.

He added, “No family and no business should go bankrupt just because of the temporary disruption in income caused by the Coronavirus.”

There are at least 3,600 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 66 deaths, according to data compiled by The New York Times.