Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was expected to unveil the GOP coronavirus relief package – “CARES II” – at the beginning of today’s Senate session but it appears there may be a delay. Majority Leader McConnell met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this morning to discuss some “final details” of the package, according to Bloomberg Government, but it appears some additional negotiation is needed. When released, the package is expected to be rolled out in separate pieces by different Senators, according the
, and others. CARES II will serve as the basis for negotiations with House and Senate Democrats.
Leaders hoped to negotiate a final compromise package by the end of the month; that timeline looks increasingly unrealistic. Negotiations on a final package are likely to continue into August.
According to several different press reports, the approximately $1 trillion CARES II is expected to include:
- Additional flexibility on the use of Coronavirus Relief Funds;
- Liability protections for businesses, schools, medical providers, and others;
- School reopening assistance (K-12 and higher education;
- Additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program;
- Additional funding for testing;
- Another round of stimulus checks, but limited this time to those earning less than $40,000; and
- An extension of the extra unemployment benefit provided in earlier relief, although at a reduced amount.
The package is expected
- Additional direct assistance to state and local governments;
- An extension of the eviction moratorium, which expires tomorrow; and
- A payroll tax break.
These details may change as negotiations continues. We will provide more information on CARES II when bill language is released.
There is reportedly some Senate Republican
to CARES II, particularly from several Members concerned about existing and potential impacts of coronavirus relief on the federal budget.
There are a few
this week, including:
President Trump commented on the federal government’s coronavirus epidemic progress during a
yesterday. During a Tuesday
the President said the epidemic “will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better…”
an agreement with U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement also allows the U.S. government to acquire an additional 500 million doses. President Trump announced the deal was part of Operation Warp Speed.
a new program - the
National Testing Implementation Forum
– which will bring together representatives from key stakeholder groups to share information and provide input to federal leaders COVID-19, testing and diagnostics.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA – an agency under HHS)
it will begin distributing $10 billion in a second round of high impact COVID-19 area funding to hospitals starting next week.
The Department of Labor
unemployment claims rose to 1.4 million last week, ending 15 weeks of consecutive declines in new applications. In the week ending July 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,416,000, an increase of 109,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 7,000 from 1,300,000 to 1,307,000.
Yesterday the US Conference of Mayors held a
to urge Congress to provide direct fiscal assistance to all cities in the US. The group sent a
calling for $250 billion for cities and also released a
outlining challenges facing cities.
showing that the COVID-19 pandemic could impact county budgets by at least $202 billion through FY2021. The findings also show that despite a recovery in the unemployment rate nationwide, local governments have continued losing jobs since March.
ICMA has collected several useful
for cities; note the ICMA webinar below.
Webinars, Events and Resources