Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is the first US Senator to test positive.
According to posts on his Twitter feed, the Senator is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.
He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time. Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.
On Friday, the Senator and physician announced he will soon introduce his COVID-19 Recovery Act, a plan that confronts the novel coronavirus pandemic’s effects by providing relief to American families and businesses without adding to the skyrocketing debt that also threatens our country.
“The national emergency we face may be new, but the answers out of Washington have so far been the same: more spending, more debt, and more mandates on the American people. Instead, we can ease concerns by putting the responsibility on government, not our families. My plan gets counter-productive regulations out of the way so we can recover faster, trusts Americans by enabling them to keep more of their own money, and provides incentives to give the relief of extra time to those paying off debt,” said Dr. Paul.
As an alternative to the plans Congress is ramming through over the concerns of small business owners and other Americans, Dr. Paul’s proposal implements President Trump’s call for a payroll tax cut, creating a 60-day payroll tax holiday for both workers and businesses.
To prevent government from further burdening businesses already struggling with the virus’ impact, the Paul plan replaces recently passed mandates with reforms from an amendment introduced earlier this week by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) that echoed Dr. Paul’s calls for change in the system and received bipartisan support. Among its provisions, the language expands unemployment insurance for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and removes the waiting period to receive the insurance. In addition, Dr. Paul has added language widening eligibility to include self-employed Americans.
The COVID-19 Recovery Act also extends the deadline for filing income taxes by 90 days for workers and by one quarter for businesses, while waiving all fees and penalties, and it provides lenders with a tax credit incentive so Americans will have more time and flexibility on their loan payments to help them meet pressing needs.
In addition on Friday, Paul joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) on an effort to repurpose existing funds to get critically needed equipment to those on the frontlines of the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, continuing his efforts to ensure a comprehensive response without increasing the burden on Americans.
The Ernst bill would abolish the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF), which has seen a massive drop in taxpayer contributions over the years and is now virtually ignored by presidential candidates, and direct its balance of over $350 million to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Strategic National Stockpile for more masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Here’s our choice: we can let hundreds of millions of dollars collect dust, or we can send more resources to those working hard to stem the tide of this virus. I am proud to support legislation that also implements exactly the kind of practical approach I have been fighting for in using money we already have to strengthen our response. I urge my fellow senators to quickly pass this reform,” said Dr. Paul.
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