Senators Brown and Hawley Urge Mnuchin to Ensure that Americans Receive Full Stimulus Payments

Apr 14, 2020Congressional Legislation, News

United States Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to push for Americans to receive the full relief payments provided by the CARES Act. The legislation provides relief for Americans’ basic needs, but the Senators showed concern that it may partially be given to debt collectors seeking to settle past debts. Brown serves as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

“We came together to pass the CARES Act to help American families pay for food, medicine, and other basic necessities during this crisis,” wrote the Senators. “To carry out Congress’s intent and ensure that American families receive the help they need, we ask that you immediately exercise your authority to protect these payments from private debt collectors.”

The CARES Act does not permit the relief amount to be reduced or offset for past debts. The only offset permitted is for past due child support payments.

Senator Brown recently pushed for the Treasury to cease the garnishment of direct stimulus payments, which gained bipartisan support. In such manner, the bipartisan push for full stimulus payments to American families builds off of this support.

“Treasury has the authority ⎯ and must exercise it ⎯ to also protect CARES Act direct payments from being seized to satisfy garnishment orders for private debts (except for child support payments),” they wrote. The Treasury can “issue new rules or guidance to protect the direct payments from private debt collectors.”

To view the full letter, click here.

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