A number of House and Senate committees are continuing to hold hearings examining various issues related to COVID-19, including its impact on certain sectors and communities and the federal government response. This week, committees looked at issues ranging from how the pandemic has exposed and widened inequities in education, health, and the workforce and wealth inequity to the child care crisis, healthy air travel, VA telehealth, preparing for the next pandemic, China’s role in the outbreak, the Trump Administration’s response, the Strategic National Stockpile, the impact on mineral supply chains, the Defense Production Act, capital markets and emergency lending, the nursing home crisis, the impact on federal courts, and the frontline federal response.
This week, the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) interim final rule on revisions to the loan forgiveness interim final rule and the SBA loan review procedures interim final rule, as well as another interim final rule making additional eligibility revisions to the first interim final rule. The SBA also released an updated PPP Round 2 report and revised the borrower application form and the lender application form.
Elsewhere, the President and federal agencies continue to take additional steps to respond to the outbreak, including:
- The President signed a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the US Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak. The Proclamation extends the pause on new immigrant visas through the end of the year and places an additional pause on several nonimmigrant visa programs (including H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L, and J).
- The Vice President met with governors and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to discuss local, state, and federal COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and America’s reopening.
- The Federal Reserve and other federal and state bank and credit union regulators issued examiner guidance to promote consistency and flexibility in the supervision and examination of financial institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to cover time away from work for reasons related to coronavirus.
- The DOL Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report found that for the week ending June 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was approximately 1.48 million, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a statement of interest challenging the constitutionality of Hawaii Governor Ige’s order requiring a 14-day self-quarantine for individuals entering the state.
A complete overview of both congressional and Administrative response efforts is available here and updated daily.
Senate Democrats will move to bring a number of COVID relief bills to the floor next week, according to Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY), but Republicans are expected to object. Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) and other leaders, including Senator Cornyn (R-TX) continue to work on a Phase 4 package that is expected to focus on liability protections as entities continue to reopen.
Tomorrow, a House Financial Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on challenges for insurers and policyholders amid a pandemic and the House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will hear from the Government Accountability Office on its recommendations to improve the federal response.
Next week, House and Senate committees will look at COVID-related issues including safely getting back to work and school, the impact in the US territories, the 2020 tax filing season, the response in native communities, and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Powell will also testify before a House Financial Services Committee pandemic response oversight hearing.
- Federal Response Timeline
- New Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Live Map
- KFF: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus
Read more in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Emerging Technologies Washington Update.