COVID-19 Washington Update: March 25, 2020
Kelley Drye Client Advisory
March 25, 2020
Today's federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic included an agreement on Congress’s “phase three” response – with a Senate vote expected tonight – as well as additional announcements from the White House and various federal agencies. Below is a synopsis of today's actions.
 

Congress

After approximately five days of intense negotiations, Congressional leaders and administration officials announced an agreement on a “phase three” relief package shortly after 1am today
 
  • The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is expected to be approved by the Senate yet this evening, despite some last minute complaints over unemployment insurance provisions
 
  • Highlights include: a “recovery rebate” for families and individuals; enhanced unemployed insurance benefits; an employee retention tax credit for employers, as well as a variety of business tax provisions; approximately $377 billion for small businesses; hundreds of billions in emergency funding for the healthcare industry and state and local governments; and a $500 billion Treasury fund to help struggling businesses (with strict oversight provisions)
   
  • House Members continue to review the package and are holding a series of conference calls on major policy issues throughout the day – timing for a House vote remains uncertain, though the earliest vote is likely tomorrow (and Friday is also a possibility)
    • Currently, it sounds as though the House may do a voice vote, allowing Members to voice yes or no on the floor
 
  • As highlighted in yesterday’s update, House Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD) told Members on a Tuesday conference call to expect a 4th and a 5th package (though timing is far from certain)
 
White House / Agency Activity

Department of Labor
   

 

Internal Revenue Service

 

Department of Homeland Security

 

Food and Drug Administration

 

Environmental Protection Agency

 

 

Department of Education

 

Export Import Bank

 

Federal Communications Commission


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