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COVID-19 Relief Negotiations Continue, Funding Deadline Looms

Today, Senate Republicans’ proposal to provide $500 billion in COVID-19 relief falls short in Senate vote.
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COVID-19 Relief Negotiations Continue, Funding Deadline Looms

As the U.S. Senate returned to Capitol Hill this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) unveiled the Senate Republicans' latest proposal to provide COVID-19 relief. Earlier today, the Senate voted on that proposal with the legislation falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward.

The Senate GOP legislation was an estimated $500 billion proposal. Specifically, the legislation would have provided another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding to aid small businesses; liability protections for businesses, schools and charities; an extra $300 per week of federal unemployment payments; and $105 billion for education, among other things.

The legislation would have provided nearly $260 billion in additional funding for small businesses via the PPP. Small businesses that have 300 or fewer employees and can demonstrate at least a 35% reduction in gross revenue in a 2020 quarter relative to the same 2019 quarter could have qualified to receive a second PPP loan.

With this legislation failing to pass in the Senate, Republicans and Democrats remain far apart in negotiations and it remains uncertain, if not unlikely, that additional COIVD-19 relief legislation can be passed before November's elections.

While further relief legislation remains stalled, there is optimism on both sides of the aisle that they can reach a deal on federal government funding before the current funding package expires on Sept. 30. The National Flood Insurance Program is also set to expire on Sept. 30 as the program is currently tied to government funding. The Big “I" is strongly advocating for Congress to extend the program as a part of its government funding package. 

As negotiations on a COVID-19 relief package and federal government funding continue in the coming days and weeks, the Big “I" will continue to provide updates on important developments in the News & Views e-newsletter.

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" senior director of federal government affairs.

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Thursday, September 10, 2020
On the Hill