Discussions continue between Democrats, Republicans, and the White House on the next coronavirus relief package. Capitol Hill and the White House are under pressure to come to an agreement now that funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is depleted. Republicans still want to limit legislative action on adding an additional $251 billion to the PPP while Democrats continue to push for more funding for hospitals, state and local governments, and the SNAP program, in addition to the increased funding for the PPP. Democrats also want changes to the PPP to ensure the program does not favor larger businesses with more established relationships with lenders. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has
the House may vote as early as tomorrow on the Democrats’ proposal, the
Interim Emergency COVID-19 Relief Act.
However, without agreement with Republicans, the legislation is expected to stall.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), sent a
to Secretary of HHS Alex Azar calling on the Administration to quickly allocate the remainder of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund enacted in the CARES Act to the healthcare providers on the front lines of the outbreak. In addition, Senate Democrats have unveiled a
to provide $30 billion in emergency funding to increase testing and administer same-day testing results on COVID-19 tests.
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and House Democrats introduced a
that would provide federal assistance to cover the full cost of COBRA premiums for workers or the full cost of health insurance premiums owed by workers who are furloughed or experience layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
that the Senate will not be returning to Washington sooner than May 4, in line with the House’s expected return.
FEMA published a
for an additional $100 million in supplemental Emergency Management Performance Grant Program funds. Local governments are eligible for funding through the program as sub-awardees. All applications must be submitted by states no later than
The Trump Administration created a
draft public health strategy
to combat COVID-19 and finalize plans to reopen parts of the country. The strategy provides guidance to state and local governments on how to ease mitigation efforts and phase out stay-at-home orders to support a safe reopening. President Trump may announce the final strategy as early as today, April 16.
The Census Bureaus temporarily suspended 2020 Census field operations in March, but the Bureau hopes to reactive field offices beginning June 1. The
Bureau is asking Congress
for statutory relief of 120 days to deliver final apportionment counts. The Bureau would extend the window for field data collection and self-response to October 31, delivering apportionment counts to the President by April 31, 2021.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced
on the $10 billion in funds to be awarded as economic relief to airports affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the CARES Act.
DHHS began delivering the first
in relief funds to providers in support of the response to COVID-19 as part of the distribution of the $100 billion
provider relief fund
provided in the CARES Act. Additionally, the Administration for Children and Families has
to release the $3.5 billion included in the bill for the Child Care and Development Block, and $90 million for the 518 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.
A top Treasury Department official said yesterday the goal is to release additional guidance on the Coronavirus Relief Fund on Friday, April 17.
Discussions are ongoing regarding the best mechanisms for distributing coronavirus funds. The National League of Cities (NLC) and the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) have advocated for the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) structure to distribute relief funds. While the National Association of Counties (NACo) is seeking to modify the traditional CDBG formula to allocate based on the severity of the public health crisis rather than economic development before distributing emergency funds.
have each sent letters to congressional leadership advocating for their position.