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COVID-19 Relief Legislation Fails to Clear Senate

This week the U.S. Senate failed to pass a Republican proposal to provide Americans with $500 billion in additional COVID-19 relief. As negotiations continue, the Big “I" continues to advocate for issues important to members, including additional PPP funding.
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COVID-19 Relief Legislation Fails to Clear Senate

This week the U.S. Senate failed to pass a Republican proposal to provide Americans with additional COVID-19 relief. The legislation failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to move forward with 51 senators voting for passage and 44 senators voting against.

The slimmed-down GOP legislation is a $500 billion proposal and very similar to legislation that was unable to pass the Senate in September. It is significantly smaller than the roughly $2 trillion proposal that the White House has been negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California).

The legislation included liability protections for businesses, roughly $250 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the ability for certain small businesses to receive a “second draw" PPP loan. It also would have boosted federal unemployment benefits and provided additional money for schools, testing and tracing, vaccine development, and vaccine distribution, among other things.

As election day nears, the White House and Speaker Pelosi continue to negotiate in an attempt to reach an agreement on a larger bipartisan COVID-19 relief package. While it remains unclear whether a deal will be reached before election day—or if a deal will be reached at all—it may not be voted on until after the election or even early next year.

As these negotiations continue, the Big “I" continues to advocate for issues important to our members including additional PPP funding, simplifying the PPP forgiveness process and liability protections for businesses.

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" assistant vice president of federal government affairs.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020
On the Hill