COVID-19 Washington Update: July 20, 2020
July 20, 2020
Below, please find a summary of the federal government’s activities in response to COVID-19 since Friday’s update. Our next update will be published Wednesday, July 22.
 

Congress

With Congress back in Washington, talks on the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation are accelerating. Today, Republican Congressional leaders met with President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to discuss Senate Republicans’ forthcoming bill.

Among other priorities (see more in Friday’s update), Secretary Mnuchin said the Republican proposal would include tax credits to help companies rehire / reopen, in addition to a “technical fix” to the enhanced unemployment insurance provision included in the CARES Act (which is set expire at the end of the month). Congressional Republicans have expressed concerns that the enhanced UI creates a disincentive to work. Republicans are also planning to include in the proposal funding to help schools reopen in the fall. Separately, House Republican Leader McCarthy (R-CA) said today the Republican proposal will include a payroll tax cut – a priority for the President – and an additional round of economic impact payments for families and individuals.

In a floor statement today, Senate Republican Leader McConnell (R-KY) said he hopes to unveil the proposal yet this week. “We need to continue supporting our healthcare system, and harbor no delusion that the virus is behind us, because it isn’t... while also taking strategic steps to help laid-off American workers get rehired and American families get their kids back in school in the fall,” he said. Also today, Senate Democratic Leader Schumer (D-NY) took to the floor to urge a Senate vote on the House-passed Heroes Act.

Tomorrow, Secretary Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will meet with Senate Republicans and, separately, with House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Schumer. Also tomorrow, President Trump is expected to resume his daily COVID-19 briefings.

Earlier today, the House approved S. 3607, the Safeguarding America's First Responders Act of 2020, to improve timely access to financial assistance for families of public safety officers lost to COVID-19. The bill passed the Senate in May and will now be sent to the President’s desk.

Also today, the members of the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Commission published their third report. The Commission was created under the CARES Act.

See Friday’s update for a rundown of this week’s COVID-related Congressional hearings.

Recent Congressional Statements / Letters
 
Other Stakeholder Statements / Letters
   

White House / Agency Activity

White House
 
Department of Labor
 
Department of Health and Human Services
 
Food and Drug Administration
 
Customs and Border Protection
 
Department of State
 
Department of Defense
   

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.