Bipartisan Group of Senators Proposes COVID Relief Package
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators released a $908 billion COVID-19 relief package. While policy details of the proposal and text are not yet available, the outline includes additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and the inclusion of short-term liability protection to allow states to develop their own response. The package was followed closely by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's announcement of a COVID relief package while dismissing the $908 billion bill, largely following the framework of the “skinny” package that Republicans put forward in September. McConnell indicated that the relief provisions will likely be included in the must-pass spending bill needed to fund the government before it runs out of money on December 11. The Republican package includes some NRMCA priorities, including liability protections and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) flexibility, but is silent on some of the PPP reforms NRMCA has advocated for.
While there is little chance for agreement and passage of a comprehensive relief package before the end of the year, the bipartisan package marks the first bipartisan proposal and the two packages come as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reconvene relief discussions for the first time since October. Early this week, NRMCA joined a broad coalition of business interests in sending two separate letters to Congress urging swift action on a COVID-19 relief package and advocating for certainty on the tax deductibility of expenses paid for with PPP funds.
NRMCA has sent and joined more than a dozen letters to Congress urging action on a COVID-19 relief package and advocating for the inclusion of PPP reforms, liability protections for businesses, expansion and enhancement of the Employee Retention Tax Credit and emergency funding for state departments of transportation.
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