05/15/2020 – Daily update from NAW Government Relations Team
1-Latest on the Main Street Lending Program
As of today – yet again – no MSLP launch date has been announced. We will continue to monitor the Federal Reserve for information and provide you with any relevant and timely updates.
2-Latest on the Paycheck Protection Program
The Small Business Administration has extended the safe-harbor deadline for returning Paycheck Protection Program loans until Monday, May 18th. The extension was announced in new item 47 of their Frequently Asked Questions list.
Question 47: An SBA interim final rule posted on May 8, 2020 provided that any borrower who applied for a PPP loan and repays the loan in full by May 14, 2020 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith. Is it possible for a borrower to obtain an extension of the May 14, 2020 repayment date?
Answer: Yes, SBA is extending the repayment date for this safe harbor to May 18, 2020, to give borrowers an opportunity to review and consider FAQ #46. Borrowers do not need to apply for this extension. This extension will be promptly implemented through a revision to the SBA’s interim final rule providing the safe harbor.
3-Latest Congressional Action on the Next Coronavirus Relief Package HEROES Act
The House is currently debating the $3 trillion coronavirus aid package, known as the “HEROES Act,” that would expand paid leave, extend the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, provide hazard pay to frontline workers, compel OSHA to create a workplace safety rule, provide relief for failing pension plans and more. We expect a lengthy day in the House with multiple procedural votes due to social distancing for the Members. A final vote on passage will likely stretch into the evening. The bill has been declared “dead on arrival” in the Senate, where Republicans are taking a wait-and-see approach.
House Republicans have overwhelmingly said they oppose the bill. There is also not unanimous support among Democrats for the measure, either. Democrat Kendra Horn announced Wednesday that she’s voting against the bill, urging bipartisan cooperation on the next round of coronavirus response legislation. Today, Democrat Abigail Spanberger also announced she will be voting against the bill saying that it’s being used “as an opportunity to make political statements.” Also, because several of the top priorities pushed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus were left out of the bill, their members are pushing for a delay in the vote to next week so lawmakers can discuss potential changes.
The House will also vote today on a historic change to the chamber’s rules that would allow Members to participate in floor votes remotely by designating a proxy to vote on their behalf. The proposed change would allow an absent lawmaker to designate a colleague to vote on House floor matters on the Member’s behalf by sending a letter electronically to the House clerk with exact instructions on how to vote on each question on the floor. It would also allow House committees to hold hearings, markups and depositions remotely.
4-Latest on Liability Protections for Businesses
The Coronavirus Liability Coalition, in which NAW is participating, is circulating a draft letter that will be sent to Members of Congress next week, calling for timely, targeted, and temporary COVID-related liability relief legislation. We hope to have a broad group of signatories for this important call to action.
5-Resources for Employers
The Virtual Executive Employer – Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Your Business, Workforce and Beyond:
On May 7th & 8th, the Littler Law Firm presented the Virtual Executive Employer Experience. For your convenience, they are providing complimentary access to the recorded presentations. Littler also invites you to explore the firm’s resources for employers to learn how COVID-19 is affecting various aspects of employment law, and how different jurisdictions around the world are addressing the outbreak.
To view the presentations, go to:
6-Latest on Re-Opening the Economy
With state and local governments gearing back up to re-open the economy, many employers are seeking answers to the challenging issues they will face as they resume their business operations amidst COVID-19.
Stateside Associates publishes a daily report about State and Local Government responses to the evolving situation. Some of the new developments in today’s report include:
- DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has extended the public emergency and Stay At Home Order through June 8.
- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity today announced Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Grants, an initiative to accelerate work on planned public infrastructure projects around the state.
- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) has issued an order allowing the Stay At Home Order (EO No. 20-48) to expire May 18.
We are also providing a link to a spreadsheet that includes state and local COVID-19 response information provided by MultiState Associates.
To view their spreadsheet, go to:
May 28 NAW Webinar on Economic Outlook:
We are partnering with NAW senior economic advisor Alan Beaulieu to produce a second critical economic forecast webinar. This webinar, “Distribution Post COVID-19 Outlook,” will run Thursday, May 28, from 3:00 to 4:30 PM EDT. Seats are limited, so if you are interested, please purchase your seat today at:
Jade West, Chief Government Relations Officer
Blake Adami, Vice President-Government Relations
Seth Waugh, Associate Vice President-Government Relations
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
The above information and links to other information has been prepared by NAW for the general information of NAW members. It is not intended to, and does not, provide tax, legal or professional advice concerning any specific matter. You should not act on the information without first obtaining professional advice and counsel.