COVID-19 Washington Update: July 29, 2020
July 29, 2020

Congress

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.