The House and Senate are both in recess this week, however, the House is currently scheduled to hold "pro forma" sessions at 10:30am ET on Tuesday and 10:30am ET on Friday, while the Senate is set to hold "pro forma" sessions at 4pm ET on Tuesday and 5:30pm ET on Thursday. Pro forma sessions are typically scheduled bi-weekly in both chambers when they are in recess for an extended period of time, in order to avoid the need for a concurrent resolution to authorize a
recess of the session
. Additionally, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) issued a "
Floor Schedule Update
" on Sunday evening stating that "Members are advised that, pending agreement on interim legislation related to the coronavirus response and the Paycheck Protection Program, the House could meet as early as Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to consider that legislation."
The White House and congressional leaders are close to an agreement to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with an additional $310 billion, according to sources on Capitol Hill. The PPP is a popular small-business lending program enacted in the CARES Act that issues forgivable loans to companies that meet certain requirements, including keeping workers on the payroll; the PPP ran out of the initial $350 billion in CARES Act funding on April 16. The "phase 3.5" interim COVID-19 package, which will likely total around $470 billion, would also include another $60 billion (including $50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants) for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program; $75 billion for hospitals; and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.
While the full details of a final deal for the 3.5 interim package have not yet been publicly released (as of Monday afternoon), the demands from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for $150 billion in additional funding and added flexibility for states and the District of Columbia, counties, all non-county localities, tribes, and territorial governments in dealing with lost revenue from the economic fall-out from the crisis are still in play. The $150 billion would be allocated in the following way: $80 billion for states and DC; $29.5 billion for counties; $29.5 billion for all non-county units of local government; $8 billion for tribes; and $3 billion for territories. However, this funding has not yet been supported by Congressional Republican leadership and the Trump Administration, and will likely not be included in the final 3.5 interim package. This additional funding could be included in the next, subsequent "Phase 4" COVID-19 package considered by Congress in the weeks ahead.
If an agreement can be reached by Tuesday morning, the Senate will vote on the 3.5 interim package in their Tuesday afternoon pro forma session under Unanimous Consent (without any Senators needed to vote in-person), followed by a recorded vote in the House on Wednesday morning, with a quorum of at least 215 members present.
NATaT has created a Coronavirus Guidance webpage to store NATaT letters, memos and briefs on the outbreak, as well as critical information and guidance released by Congress and the Administration.