COVID-19 Legislation Update

July 23, 2020

The Senate majority could release COVID-19 draft legislation this week, though early next week may be more likely. When the text is published, it will be the product of a majority-only exercise as bipartisan negotiations have not begun. House leadership has told its members to prepare to vote the first week of August, so the July 31 enhanced unemployment insurance deadline may not be met.

Expected parameters are liability protection, funding for testing and vaccines, funding for schools for reopening - but with assistance not conditional on reopening, and changes or additions to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which could include loan forgiveness at some level, not for profits, and revenue trigger for next round of assistance.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell has led discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Leader McConnell continues to stress "fiscal sanity" and urges the caucus not to load the bill down. There will likely be some sector-specific provisions in the bill, but they will be COVID-19 related. Sector provisions will have to be strongly supported by members of the caucus and necessary for immediate relief.