News from Washington on federal coronavirus information and resources.
August 13, 2020
Information and resources on federal responses to the coronavirus crisis for state, local, and regional government.
Starting next week, the TFG Coronavirus Update will be published weekly on Thursdays until September 14 when we will resume our normal schedule.
Negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package are at a standstill. The White House and Congressional leaders stated they do not want to wait until September to come to an agreement, but it is unlikely an agreement will not be reached soon. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a joint statement regarding the status of the negotiations; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchinresponded.
Bloomberg Governmentreports state and local government aid remains “one of the biggest sticking points” in the negotiations.
With the House on recess and the Senate schedule slowing down for August, legislative activity has decreased. We expect rebound in activity after Labor Day.
Administration.The U.S. Treasury Department released updated Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced$472 million in CARES Act funding to help low income families during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding, which will be awarded to Public Housing Authorities, can be used to help families assisted by Housing Choice Vouchers and Mainstream Vouchers.
HHS and the Defense Department announcedan agreement with Moderna, Inc. to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Moderna will manufacture the vaccine doses while clinical trials are underway and the federal government will own the vaccine doses.
DOL reports the number of new applications for unemployment insurance fell below 1 million last week for the first time since March. Last week, 963,000 Americans filed new claims for jobless benefits – 228,000 fewer claims than the roughly 1.2 million applications in the week prior.
DOL also released guidance to help states implement the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program which provides claimants in most unemployment insurance programs up to $400 per week additional benefits, starting with weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, and ending December 27.
HHS postedthe July through December COVID-19 Testing Plans from all states, territories, and localities. The Plans serve as a roadmap developed in partnership with the federal government for each jurisdiction’s monthly 2020 testing strategy. Each state’s COVID-19 testing plan is availablehere.
Industry & Advocacy
The National Governor’s Association, the National Association of Counties, and the National League of Cities calledon Congress to reach a compromise on a new Coronavirus Relief package and to include financial assistance to maintain critical local government services and to address revenue shortfalls.
The Harvard Global Health Institute’s “Pandemics Explained” webpage includes an interactive map showing COVID-19 risk levels at the county level.
Webinars, Events and Resources
NACo WEBINAR: U.S. Treasury Coronavirus Relief Fund Reporting and Record Retention Requirements