Capitol Correspondence - 04.21.20

Interim COVID-19 Bill in the Works Following Depletion of COVID-19 Small Business Funding Program

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Another opportunity to advocate for Medicaid disability supports to receive desperately needed funding is on the congressional horizon, as lawmakers are seeking to strike a deal authorizing additional funding for small businesses before Congress reconvenes to consider its fourth-round coronavirus relief package.  As Axios reported, the deal is in reaction to the fact that the “$349 billion cap for small business loans for the coronavirus stimulus was reached Thursday, taking less than two weeks to run out.”

This interim bill reflects stalled negotiations for a larger funding proposal due to partisan differences over which sectors to prioritize for aid. Regardless of the legislative vehicle, ANCOR has been requesting funding for Medicaid-funded disability supports to: (1) supercharge their workforce on the frontlines of the virus, (2) stabilize agency operations and (3) retain supports that are currently suspended due to social distancing measures, such as employment supports and day programs, so that they can reopen after the outbreak. Please support our request by using our action tool.

Politico shared preliminary details of the bill pending language being released:

“Congress and the Trump administration are quickly nearing a deal on more than $400 billion in emergency funding for small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with passage expected in the coming days.

A deal could be announced as early as Monday, according to congressional aides. On a conference call with President Donald Trump and Republican senators on Sunday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republicans that the only portion of the package not agreed upon focused on coronavirus testing, according to a person briefed on the call.

McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said the money for state and local government funding, as well as food stamp aid requested by Democrats, would not be included in the deal.”