COVID-19 Washington Update: May 26, 2020
Kelley Drye Client Advisory
May 26, 2020

Congress

The House returns to Washington this week, with plans to vote Thursday on two pieces of legislation related to the SBA’s small business lending programs.
 
  • The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, introduced by Reps. Phillips (D-MN) and Roy (R-TX) would make a number of changes to the PPP, including: allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period, eliminating the requirement that businesses spend at least 75% of the funds on payroll, extending the repayment period to five years (from two), providing expanded forgiveness for businesses unable to rehire due to the continuing pandemic, ensuring access to payroll tax deferment for PPP loan recipients, and extending the deadline to apply for a loan to the end of the year. Today, the bill was endorsed by both the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus and the New Democratic Coalition.

  • The Transparency and Reporting for the Underbanked and Taxpayers at Home (TRUTH) Act, also sponsored by Rep. Phillips, would impose additional transparency measures on SBA, including requiring details on loans made in excess of $2 million.

As we reported in our Thursday update, there is also bipartisan Senate support for PPP reforms. The Senate is not in session this week, but could pass its own proposal via unanimous consent during a pro forma session scheduled for Thursday. The Senate could also act on its bill (or the House’s bill) when the full chamber returns on June 1. Leaders in both chambers are hoping to quickly resolve any differences.

Upcoming COVID-19 Related Committee Activity
 
  • A May 27 House Ways and Means Committee hearing entitled, “The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color”

  • A May 28 House Appropriations Committee (Military Construction / Veterans Affairs Subcommittee) hearing entitled, “Department of Veterans Affairs - Response to COVID-19”

  • A May 28 House Education and Labor Committee (Workforce Protections Subcommittee) hearing entitled, ““Examining the Federal Government’s Actions to Protect Workers from COVID-19"

  • A May 28 House Small Business Committee (Contracting and Infrastructure Subcommittee) virtual forum on Small Business Development Centers

  • A May 29 House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee) virtual hearing entitled, “The Status of the U.S. Maritime Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Recent Congressional Statements / Letters
 
Other Stakeholder Statements / Letters
   

White House / Agency Activity

White House
 
Department of the Treasury / Small Business Administration
 
Internal Revenue Service
 
Department of Labor
 
Department of Health and Human Services
 
Food and Drug Administration
 
National Institutes of Health
 
Department of Homeland Security
 
Customs and Border Protection
 
Federal Emergency Management Agency
 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
 
Federal Communications Commission
 
Commodity Futures Trading 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