Coronavirus Update
April 3, 2020
Information and resources on federal responses to the coronavirus crisis for towns and townships
Federal Response
Capitol Hill. House Democrats are planning for a Phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package while Republican leadership wants to wait on a fourth bill at this time. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a press conference on April 1, 2020, released the infrastructure priorities for Phase 4, including many that were a part of the “ Moving Forward Framework ” published in late January. According to Bloomberg, Speaker Pelosi said on Thursday morning that talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal on funding for infrastructure are accelerating.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in an interview with the Washington Post on April 1, that talk of a fourth coronavirus package was “premature.”

Speaker Pelosi has also announced that the House will create a special committee to oversee the government’s response to the outbreak, including how the $2.2 trillion from the CARES Act is spent.

Administration. DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act ( P.L. 116-127 ), effective April 1, 2020. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between paychecks and public health measures needed to combat the virus.

In response to the virus, many grant programs have extended their deadlines including USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program (April 15); and FTA’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility Program (May 18), Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone Program (June 3), Buses and Bus Facilities Program (April 29), and the Passenger Ferry Grant Program ( April 29). 
Advocacy
NACo sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asking for clarification under Title IV of the CARES Act regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund population eligibility. Similarly, NLC sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin seeking clarification on the Coronavirus Relief Fund’s distribution to states and political subdivisions of states.

ICMA is hosting a free webinar on April 15, 2020, to discuss the “Role of EMS in Local COVID-19 Responses.” 
News and Resources
NLC has created a COVID-19: Local Action Tracker to highlight the efforts of local leaders in response to the coronavirus.

The IRS published a FAQ for “COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses.” 

CRS released a report detailing the state and local allocations for the Coronavirus Relief Fund included in the CARES Act.

The IRS and lawmakers are pressing the administration to find a solution for Social Security beneficiaries to receive the coronavirus relief checks as some seniors who do not typically file returns will need to do so in other to receive the checks, according to The Hill.

CRS released a report titled, “Small Businesses and COVID-19: Relief and Assistance Resources,” which provides website and CRS products potentially relevant to small businesses that are affected by the coronavirus pandemic and seeking economic relief and assistance. 
Federal Agency Intergovernmental Contacts
Primary points of contact at federal agencies can be found below:

For more information please contact NATaT Federal Director Jennifer Imo at jimo@tfgnet.com or 202.454.3947