Capitol Correspondence - 06.16.20

U.S. Treasury Secretary Lays Out Administration’s Priorities for Next COVID-19 Legislation

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The article below by ASAE, the association for associations of which ANCOR is a member, is informative on the broader political climate that will influence the future of the HEROES Act as it works its way through the Senate after having been passed last month by the House. ANCOR is advocating for the retention of key provisions in the HEROES Act that would fund Medicaid disability supports, which have a critical role ensuring the survival of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week previewed the Trump administration’s priorities in the next COVID-19 relief package, which include bolstering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and changes to “fix” unemployment insurance.

In testimony before the Senate Small Business Committee, Mnuchin signaled that President Trump would be supportive of another economic stimulus bill despite touting a better-than-expected jobs report last week.

‘We’re open-minded, but we absolutely believe small businesses – and by the way many big businesses in certain industries – are absolutely going to need more help’” Mnuchin said.

Trump has consistently expressed confidence that the economy would rebound once states started to reopen following weeks of ‘shelter-in-place’ restrictions. Senate Republicans have also pumped the brakes on the next COVID-19 relief package to see what impact reopening has on the economy.

Mnuchin spent much of the hearing focused on the Paycheck Protection Program, which allows loans to small businesses to be forgiven if loan recipients maintain payroll. Mnuchin said the program had a rocky rollout but is now supporting the employment of roughly 50 million workers and more than 75 percent of the small business payroll in all 50 states.

‘This is an extraordinary achievement,’ he said. ‘But I definitely think we are going to need another bipartisan legislation to put more money into the economy.’ Mnuchin cited the travel, leisure and restaurant industries as needing further aid.”