News from Representative Bass

   

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Dear ,

I hope you are doing well and staying healthy. I wanted to provide you with an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As a reminder, due to suggested health guidelines to avoid public gatherings, I will be hosting more frequent telephone town halls instead of my usual in-person community meetings.

If you would like to be added to our telephone town hall list, please click here

As always, you can visit my website for resources regarding this pandemic. You can also find updated information from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Congressional Action

Up until this morning, stimulus package proposals have included hundreds of billions of dollars for what I believe amounts to slush funds for Corporate America. As I said last week, taxpayer funds aimed at helping any industry must be targeted to help their workers and those they serve, not their Boards of Directors and investors.

We are working on an acceptable stimulus as we speak. In any package moving forward, Congress needs to take responsibility for our workers and require that any corporation that takes taxpayer dollars must protect their workers’ wages and benefits – not use the money to increase executive pay, buy back their own stocks or layoff huge numbers of workers. For example, funds for the airline sector must be targeted to help the flight attendants, ground crew, maintenance workers and folks who clean the planes, but also those who provide services at airports like janitors and food service workers.

Otherwise, it’s just a massive transfer of wealth away from ordinary people. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations may be the hardest hit during this outbreak. We must ensure they survive both to offer services now and when we emerge from this crisis. 

Perhaps most vitally, we need to take responsibility for our doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders. We must act to give hospitals, community health centers and other institutions the desperately needed funds to provide treatment and care to all those who are sick and to ensure they have the Personal Protective Equipment to keep health care workers and first responders safe in the face of exposure to the coronavirus.

I will continue to insist that any assistance package that comes up for a vote will address these issues.

Safer At Home

Last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a stay-at-home order for the City of Los Angeles, mirrored by the City of Culver City. Governor Gavin Newsom also has issued a statewide stay-at-home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As outlined in the orders, residents are ordered to remain in their homes — with lawful exceptions made for critical tasks such as securing food and health, safety and medical necessities, as well as caring for children, elder adults, family, friends and people with disabilities. Learn more about how this action impacts you here.

Tax Filings

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday that the federal income tax filing due date will be automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Learn more about this action here.

Health Insurance

As of Friday, anyone who is uninsured and meets eligibility requirements for health care coverage through Covered California can sign up in the new open enrollment period through June 30, 2020. This is an important step to ensure Californians who lose coverage through an employer, or who are otherwise uninsured, have the opportunity to enroll in coverage.  The California Department of Health Care Services also announced new steps to help those eligible for Medi-Cal sign-up. Learn more here.

Student Loans

All borrowers with federally-held student loans through the U.S. Department of Education will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days starting March 13th. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.

Student loans can come from many sources, and borrowers should contact their own lender(s) to discuss what their individual situations may be. Learn more about the Department of Education action here.

Please note that this does not apply to private student loans. Borrowers having difficulty with private student loan payments should check with the lender to see what accommodations may be arranged.

Los Angeles Unified School District Schedule Changes 

Superintendent Austin Beutner announced this morning that Los Angeles Unified School District students and teachers will remain out of their classrooms until at least May 1st. LAUSD will continue to provide nutritious meals to all students who need them during the temporary closure of schools. The District will add three more distribution centers by the end of the week.To find the closest Grab & Go Food Center to you, click here.

Los Angles and Washington, DC Congressional Office Changes

Please note that, in line with recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for team member and constituent safety, I have directed both my L.A. and D.C. offices to begin serving constituents remotely. Learn more here.

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Please remember to stay healthy by following guidelines put out by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. I will be posting regular updates on my website as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Be well. 

Sincerely,

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Karen Bass
Member of Congress
37th Congressional District of California

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