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Capitol Correspondence - 12.08.20

Possibilities Emerge for Modest COVID-19 Relief Bill

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As reported by ASAE, the association for association professionals to which ANCOR belongs: “Long-stalled negotiations on a new COVID-19 stimulus package gained new life this week as Democratic leaders rallied behind a $908 billion framework developed by a bipartisan group of senators.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said in a joint statement yesterday that the senators’ framework outlined on Tuesday ‘should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.’ […]

The nearly-trillion-dollar framework introduced this week was introduced by a group of senators that included Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mark Warner (D-VA). The framework was also informed by discussions with members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.

While there is no legislative text as yet, the framework includes a $300-per-week boost in federal unemployment benefits through at least March; $160 billion in support to state and local governments; nearly $300 billion for small businesses, including another round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); $82 billion for schools; $45 billion for transportation systems; and $25 billion for rental assistance, among other items.” Here is the full breakdown of the proposed funding framework.

Politico Pro reporting further elaborates on this bills’ prospects: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she wants to attach a coronavirus relief bill to a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package that would avert a government shutdown later this month, raising the prospects of long-stalled stimulus relief finally being signed into law.

The California Democrat said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed with her about combining the annual spending measures with coronavirus relief during their conversation Thursday, the first time in weeks the two leaders have discussed moving a relief bill. […]

The sheer number of outstanding items at such a late stage makes it increasingly likely that congressional negotiators will require a brief stopgap spending bill to complete their work before leaving for the holidays. Such a decision could be made early next week if lawmakers fail to make significant progress over the weekend.”

ANCOR is engaging with key congressional offices to highlight the funding needs of the disability community, which has been devastated by the virus. We will continue to keep members informed of opportunities for action.