Friends, 

On Thursday afternoon, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon issued an order closing bars, gyms, and most other public spaces across the state for the next two weeks in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Additionally, Senate Republicans formally unveiled a Phase Three Coronavirus Package yesterday. This proposal, titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will support small businesses, directly help Americans financially, assist industries of national importance, and protect the health of the American people. More details of this package are included below. 

Also, the State Department released a statement yesterday advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

As always, make sure you visit cheney.house.gov/coronavirus for daily updates on resources and guidelines from the White House COVID-19 Task Force that will help to slow the spread of this virus and keep you and your family healthy.

Here’s The Latest:

Yesterday, Governor Mark Gordon endorsed a decision by the Wyoming State Health Officer to close public places for a two-week period to help slow the community spread of coronavirus. The order is effective immediately and extends through April 3rd.

The mandate affects “schools, theaters, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, employee cafeterias, self-serve buffets, salad bars, unpackaged self-serve food services, gyms, conference rooms and museums.” Restaurants can still operate, as long as they do so outside of a dine-in setting. Child care services are also closed, except for those that cater specifically to “essential personnel.”

The full order can be found here and copied below in it’s entirety:

On the U.S. Senate floor yesterday, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell formally introduced phase three of coronavirus response legislation, titled the CARES Act. Senator McConnell repeated that the Senate will not leave Washington until they pass a bill, and he invited Senate Democrats to begin negotiating in a bipartisan way on this proposal so a vote could be held in short order. 

The CARES Act is focused on four main priorities:

1. Direct financial help for the American people;
2. Significant steps to stabilize our economy and protect jobs;
3. Rapid relief for small businesses and their employees;
4. Increased support for the brave healthcare professionals and the patients who are fighting the coronavirus on the front lines

More specifically, the CARES Act will do the following:

  • Provides recovery checks to most taxpayers, providing cash immediately to individuals and families. Individuals are eligible for checks up to $1,200 and married couples filing jointly are eligible for checks up to $2,400, with an extra $500 for each child. So that relief is focused on those who need it most, eligibility for recovery checks is reduced starting at $75,000 in 2018 income for individuals and $150,000 in 2018 income for joint filers. Individuals with 2018 income exceeding $99,000 and joint filers with 2018 income exceeding $198,000 are ineligible.
  • Extends the traditional April 15th tax filing deadline to July 15th and allows individuals required to make estimated tax payments to postpone them until October 15th.
  • Waives penalties for early withdrawal from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes of up to $100,000.
  • Allows the Secretary of Education to defer student loan payments and allows students who were forced to drop out of school due to coronavirus to keep their Pell grants.
  • Grants colleges and universities flexibility to continue work-study payments to students who cannot work due to coronavirus closures.

I’m working closely with Congressional leaders on ensuring that this legislation is focused on delivering immediate aid to Wyoming families, workers, and small businesses who are suffering due to coronavirus. I will continue to send the latest updates on the status of the CARES Act in my newsletter. 

Seven Wyoming Counties Now Eligible For SBA Loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated the following Wyoming counties as “economic disaster” regions eligible for small business disaster loan assistance:

  • Albany County
  • Carbon County
  • Laramie County
  • Park County
  • Sweetwater County 
  • Teton County
  • Unita County

If you are a small business owner in one of these counties and have been negatively impacted by coronavirus, the SBA’s Federal Disaster Loan program can provide you with loans to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue you might be experiencing.

To apply for a SBA Federal Disaster Loan, click on the following link: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login

SBA has provided the following information with more details about the Federal Disaster Loan program:

Latest Updates From The White House Coronavirus Task Force

The White House made several important announcements at today’s briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force:

Travel Restrictions Placed on Mexico Border
President Trump announce a mutual agreement to temporarily close the border of Mexico to non-essential travel in response to the spread of coronavirus. This follows a similar agreement made yesterday by the U.S. and Canada to limit travel across our northern border. The travel restriction agreement with both countries will not block cross-border trade. Additionally, shipments of food, fuel and medicines wouldcontinue to cross the border under the agreement.

Deadline For Tax Filing Moved To July 15th
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced President Trump’s decision to move the deadline for tax filing to July 15. Taxpayers can still file their taxes and seek a refund now.

Education Department Suspends Standardize Testing, Federal Student Loan Payments
President Donald Trump announced today that the Education Department would not enforce federal standardized testing requirements for K-12 schools and would allow federal student loan borrowers to suspend payments for at least 60 days without penalty, as the government battles the coronavirus pandemic. If you have a federal student loan, please contact your loan provider for more information about today’s announcement. 

Please follow this newsletter and the coronavirus page on my website for continued updates about COVID-19 and how government is responding to protect both the country’s health and our economic security. 

Congresswoman Liz Cheney