COVID-19 Washington Update: June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020
Below, please find a summary of today’s federal government activities in response to COVID-19.
 

Congress

Today, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) said he expects the Senate to focus on the next round of COVID relief legislation when the chamber returns from the upcoming July 4 recess – with the goal of passing legislation prior to the August break (the Senate is currently scheduled to adjourn August 7).

In an oversight hearing before the House Financial Services Committee today, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin also expressed interest in working on another round of COVID relief legislation in July. He said the administration has been focused on monitoring the results of money that has already been spent under previous relief packages.

Secretary Munchin also said he has been in discussions with bipartisan Members of the Senate Small Business Committee about repurposing the $135 billion in unallocated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, likely targeting “the most hard hit businesses,” including restaurants and hotels. Today is the last day for entities to apply for PPP loans.

Senate Democrats today released two major relief proposals:
 
  • Senators Wyden (D-OR), Baldwin (D-WI), Bennet (D-CO), Booker (D-NJ) and Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced the Jobs for Economic Recovery Act, which would provide funding for states, tribes and local governments to finance six months of wages and supportive services for unemployed workers.

  • Senate Democratic Leader Schumer (D-NY) and HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray (D-WA) introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, a $430 billion bill to address the national child care and education crises.

Also of note, a coalition representing state and local governments, businesses, and trade associations wrote to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer yesterday regarding the urgent need for additional federal aid, especially as many state and localities approach the end of their fiscal year this week. Yesterday evening, Senator Wyden led a Democratic colloquy calling for more assistance for state and local governments.

And in a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee this morning, White House Coronavirus Task Force Member Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around and so I am very concerned.” He cited indoor gatherings as a major cause of the current surge.

Recent Congressional Statements / Letters
 
Other Stakeholder Statements / Letters
   

Agency Activity

Treasury Department
 
Food and Drug Administration
 
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
 
Environmental Protection Agency
 
Department of Transportation
 
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
 
Federal Communications Commission
 
International Trade Commission
 
Department of Education
   

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