COVID-19 Washington Update: July 2020 #11

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP


Congressional leaders from both parties and administration officials have acknowledged that the two sides remain far apart as negotiations on the next COVID relief package continue. See today’s floor statement from Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) here.

Bipartisan talks have been underway since Senate Republicans unveiled their HEALS Act on Monday evening (see our previous update here). In a press briefing following talks with the administration today, House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Schumer (D-NY) were particularly critical of Leader McConnell’s insistence on including Republicans’ entire liability proposal, which Speaker Pelosi called “liability on steroids.”

In a Tuesday Dear Colleague to fellow Democrats, House Speaker Pelosi outlined her specific concerns with the Senate GOP proposal. Beyond liability, a number of policy differences remain, including how to address expiring pandemic unemployment assistance and whether to provide additional funding to state and local governments.

Earlier today, National Governors Association leaders issued a statement regarding the ongoing negotiations, reiterating their request for $500 billion in federal aid to states over the next three years.

And while President Trump today suggested that Congress should pass a short-term bill – e.g., extend unemployment insurance and the federal eviction moratorium and approve another round of economic impact payments – Congressional leaders have not been receptive to the proposal, preferring continued negotiations on a comprehensive bill.

Further complicating the talks, Senate Republicans have yet to unify around the HEALS Act, particularly its $1 trillion-plus price tag.

Bipartisan negotiations will continue tomorrow.

Recent Congressional Statements / Letters

Other Stakeholder Statements / Letters

White House / Agency Activity

White House

Department of Treasury

Internal Revenue Service

Small Business Administration

Department of Health and Human Services

Food and Drug Administration

Department of Homeland Security

Department of State

Department of Agriculture

Department of Education

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Reserve

State / Local Activity

Given the plethora of state and local actions, we recommend MultiState’s COVID-19 Policy Tracker as a comprehensive tool to monitor the response.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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