03/27/2020 – Daily update from NAW Government Relations Team
1-House Passes COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Bill
The House of Representatives has now passed the Senate-passed COVID rescue bill, which will shortly be sent to the President for his signature. But the final act was not without moments of drama.
Republican and Democratic House Leaders scrambled last night to urge their Members to come back to Washington for the vote today, responding to the threat from KY GOP Representative Thomas Massie that he would object to the voice vote if a quorum was not present. Many Members did return, lots of the driving from as far away as the mid-west.
As the 2-hours of debate came to a close, the Speaker announced that all Members were being asked to come to the House Chamber, but to gather in the visitors’ galleries in order to maintain appropriate distance from one another. She repeated the request that Members come to the galleries several times during her closing remarks, suggesting that the presence of the required quorum was not certain.
When the voice vote was taken – and the “ayes” clearly were louder and more prevalent than the few “nay” votes – Congressman Massie did request a recorded vote and then object to the proceedings due to the absence of a quorum. The presiding officer asked the Leaders to count how many of their Members were in the Chamber, quickly announced that a quorum was in fact present, declared that the bill was passed, and immediately adjourned the House until next week.
The sausage-making of the legislative process is seldom pretty, but it is at least occasionally efficient.
Once the President has signed the bill into law, the departments and agencies will be able to start preparing and releasing guidance on how the programs will be implemented. We will get that information to you as soon as it becomes available.
If we obtain useful information over the weekend, we will send updates as needed.
2-Update on CISA’s Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers
NAW has been advised that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) plans to release an updated Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response as early as today.
At the current time, the updated guidance has not been released. NAW has been actively working with CISA to ensure that the concerns of wholesaler-distributors are heard. We will notify NAW members as soon as the updated guidance is released.
Jade West, Chief Government Relations Officer
Blake Adami, Vice President-Government Relations
Seth Waugh, Associate Vice President-Government Relations
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors