U.S. Chamber’s Neil Bradley Provide Update on Federal Aid for COVID-19May 21, 2020
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the HEROES Act. The overall package will likely not move forward, but some elements will make into an eventual CARES Act “Phase Four” package. Timing on then the next package is not clear at this point.
Some elements that are likely to be included in a “Phase Four” package may include:
- Extension of PPP “use” period from eight weeks to 24 weeks.
- Extension of “safe harbor” time.
- No penalty for firms who extend an offer of re-employment to workers, but workers declines.
- Inclusion of other 501c’s, include c6’s is still uncertain, but support is growing.
- Some form of liability protection for businesses that demonstrate actions consistent with state and local guidelines and acting in good faith. This is a key priority for the Chamber.
- Some form of additional state aid to fill non-COVID-19 operating expenses is likely, but will take significant negotiation. Republicans will push for more restrictions or limitations.
- Extension of Federal (additional) $600 per week in unemployment support to January, as proposed in the HEROs Act will be another contentious issue…likely to be extended, but not into 2021.
- FYI: Analysis by U.S Chamber shows a majority of industries most impacted by layoffs have average salaries that make the $600 extra per week put those workers in a better financial position being on unemployment than being back at work.
The Chamber will keep members informed as more updates on federal relief packages are discusssed.