03/20/2020 – Daily update from NAW Government Relations Team
1-The just-announced Federal guidelines for essential goods and services. We have been working to get this done since our conference call with the President and Vice President earlier in the week (with execs from specific commodity lines requested by the White House). These guidelines were announced by CISA – CYBERSECURITY & INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY. As far as we have been able to determine, CISA is the only Federal agency expected to announce guidelines in this matter. Please note that these guidelines are advisory to states and localities, not mandatory.
The guidelines can be read here:
You should of course review these guidelines to see if your commodity line is covered, but we have been advised that the guidelines address our industry: “Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.”
2-As you know, the emergency aid package already signed into law by the President included new mandatory FMLA and sick leave provisions. It also included tax credit provisions to mitigate the cost to employers of the new leave mandates. A number of employee-benefit law firms have produced analyses of the leave provisions; you can access one of those analyses here:
Bloomberg has produced a very useful chart showing how the refundable tax credits are expected to pay for the new leave program. You can access that chart here:
3-Senator McConnell introduced last evening another emergency stimulus package, this one addressing business as well as individual stimulus and tax provisions. NAW helped organize a letter to policymakers urging adoption of critical tax policies (you can access that letter here: https://s-corp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Main-Street-Reponse-to-COVID-19-3-20.pdf). The tax initiatives we urged in our letter are included in the McConnell CARES Act bill, and we are calling on the Senate to expand on the small business lending section of their bill to include more/all businesses.
We are waiting to see a comprehensive summary of the bill in normal, rather than legislative, language. In the meantime, these reports released by various committees of jurisdiction in the Senate are useful.
4-Finally, NAW sent a letter to the Senate this morning supporting the bill. You can read it here:
Jade C. West
Chief Government Relations Officer
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
1325 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005