Senate GOP unveils HEALS Act

Senate Republicans have released details what they want to see in the next round of coronavirus aid. The consolidation of several bills make up what they call the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act, or HEALS Act.

The new $1 trillion dollar measure would authorize another round of $1,200 direct payments to Americans and increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. Additional flexibilities would essentially forgive all PPP loans under $150,000 dollars without farmers having to prove where the funds were spent.

Schools and colleges in rural America would benefit from increased liability protection.

The bill also includes $100 billion dollars to put toward reopening efforts and $20 billion dollars set aside specifically for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but spending would be at the discretion of Secretary Perdue.

Livestock producers who had to depopulate herds are included, but the biofuels industry is not specifically mentioned. However, the inclusion of agricultural processors as eligible recipients, would allow USDA to make payments to ethanol producers and other processors left out of the CARES Act.