COVID-19 Washington Update: June 26, 2020
June 26, 2020
Below, please find a summary of today’s federal government activities in response to COVID-19.
 

Congress

Today, following criticism from Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz, among others, the Department of Health and Human Services granted a two-week extension of federal support for five Community-Based Testing Sites in the state, which is experiencing a surge in cases. Also today, the Illinois Congressional delegation urged continued funding of testing sites.

Next week, in addition to voting on health care and infrastructure legislation, the House will vote on H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020. The bill would extend the CARES Act eviction and foreclosure moratoria; provide $100 billion for an emergency rental assistance fund to help renters cover the cost of rent and utilities; provide $75 billion to create a homeowner assistance fund to help at-risk homeowners pay their mortgage, property tax, and property insurance; and provide more than $11.5 billion for homeless assistance grants. The legislation was also included as part of the Heroes Act, which was passed by the House last month.

Next Tuesday, June 30, is the application deadline for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Future legislation to extend and / or modify the program is possible, particularly with more than $100 billion still unallocated – but action is not imminent.

Both the House and Senate will be in session next week, ahead of a two-week July recess. The following COVID-19-related hearings have been scheduled:

Senate
 
  • A June 30 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing entitled, “COVID-19: Update on Progress Toward Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School”

  • A June 30 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing entitled, “COVID-19 And U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, And Response: Additional Perspectives”

  • A June 30 Senate Finance Committee hearing entitled, “2020 Filing Season and IRS COVID-19 Recovery” – IRS Commission Rettig will testify

  • A June 30 Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to “Examine the Impact of COVID-19 to U.S. Territories”

  • A July 1 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing entitled, “Better, Faster, Cheaper, Smarter, and Stronger: Infrastructure Development Opportunities to Drive Economic Recovery and Resiliency”

  • A July 1 Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Evaluating the Response and Mitigation to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Native Communities”

  • A July 2 Senate Appropriations Committee (Labor / HHS Subcommittee) hearing entitled, “Review of Operation Warp Speed: Researching, Manufacturing, & Distributing a Safe & Effective Coronavirus Vaccine” – NIH Director Collins and CDC Director Redfield are expected to testify

House
 
  • A June 30 House Committee on Financial Services hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Treasury Department's and Federal Reserve's Pandemic Response” – Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Powell are scheduled to testify

  • A July 1 House Small Business Committee hearing entitled, “The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Status Update from the Administration”

  • A July 1 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “The Trump Administration's Response to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean”

  • A July 2 House Small Business Committee hearing entitled, “Supply Chain Resiliency”

Recent Congressional Statements / Letters
 
Other Stakeholder Statements / Letters
   

Agency Activity

Department of the Treasury
 
Internal Revenue Service
 
Department of Labor
 
Department of Health and Human Services
 
Food and Drug Administration
 
Customs and Border Protection
 

Federal Emergency Management Agency
 
Department of Defense
 
Department of Transportation
 
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