Keating Provides Updates on Stimulus Checks and Government Coronavirus Response

HYANNIS – Congressman Bill Keating shared information on when residents could be expecting their stimulus checks, as well as what government officials are doing to help public health and local business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The numbers are starting to hit. There are several people in the Barnstable area that are in the Intensive Care Unit. So this is reality,” said Keating.

The congressman said his offices are open in Hyannis. They have people working overtime, remotely answering phone calls and providing the public with information on any questions residents may have.

Keating said that residents should expect their stimulus checks beginning April 13.  

“That’s a check that’s a direct payment to individuals. It amounts to $1,200 for adults earning under [75,000 a year],” said Keating.

“On April 13th the Treasury Department is going to start sending out those monies. First, they’re going to send them to people who have a direct payment account. When they pay their taxes, the IRS has that information. People will find that starting the 13th and should get it in the next couple of weeks after that. Money directly into their savings account.”

Keating said that those on Social Security, many of whom don’t pay taxes, will still be receiving their check through the program.

“They have a system where the Social Security has their bank information, fortunately we were successfully in getting them to change their regulation just the night before last where that money will be paid directly to those people on Social Security who get the money by direct payment.”

Keating warned that those who file taxes by mail will face a longer wait time for their money.

“The people by mail, it’s going to take longer. Some of them might have to file a tax just to receive the money if they’re filing taxes otherwise. Our office will assist in that as well.”

His office has also received questions from local businesses faced with significant threat to their livelihood due to the virus.

Keating said that local businesses should look to the recently-passed CARES Act for assistance.

“We passed a $2.2 trillion CARES Act, $350 billion of that for small businesses. The most popular program is the Paycheck Protection Program, an interest-free, tax-free loan to maintain your payroll,” said Keating.

“But this is important; if you maintain that payroll from February 15 through the 30th, just the numbers, not necessarily the same people, then you get that whole loan forgiven. It comes free to you all together. That’s why it’s so popular. It’s for businesses under 500, you can do two and a half times the monthly payroll capped at ten million.”

Keating said that those who still have to make cuts to their workforce will still benefit from the program.

“That’s obviously a lifeblood to try and keep both businesses and employees in place. It’s particularly important for our area.”

Keating advises small businesses talk to their local lenders and institutions to see if they are adopting the program.

He warns that businesses may need to be patient as lenders are still just getting the information.

Keating said that the government is already working on the next phase of federal packages to fight the economic devastation left in the wake of the virus.

“We’ve been working now for weeks, even when we were doing the third bundle, we’ve been doing the fourth,” said Keating.

The congressman said that he has been on calls 2 hours a day working on aspects of the package.

“Part of it will be filling in the holes that we’re finding, or extending the CARES act even more, but a major part of our House plan is to have an infrastructure bill. To get the economy back and rolling. To me, I’m working very hard on my priority which is trying to get the funding for the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges, and we’ve had progress in that.”

Keating said that he has been in contact with the Army Corps and is getting together plans for environmental studies in hopes to make more progress soon on replacements to the bridges.

Recently, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was told that the Secretary of the Interior has ordered their reservation be disestablished and land taken out of trust, and Keating said that there are currently two different bills that have passed the House and “both of which would rectify this.”

The bipartisan bills are waiting for Senate action.

“We’re working on all fronts to see if it can at least be postponed. This shouldn’t be occurring when tribal healthcare issues and other issues are at stake and when we’re funding for this coronavirus emergency.”

Keating says that they continue to work on the issue.

When it comes to dealing with the coronavirus outbreak on Cape Cod and the Islands, Keating said that it is critical that residents be mindful about distancing themselves from others.

“Let’s be very careful and separate out,” said Keating. 

“Dr. Fauci said yesterday that this is aerosol, which means just breathing within a short space can spread this. So keeping the 6 feet is critical. If you have family you’re taking care of or looking in on, do it by telephone, leave something on their doorstep, avoid contact right now. It’s critical and it could save a life,” said Keating.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy