Coronavirus Government Response Update—Senate Passes $484 Billion Relief Package

April 22, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—Senate Passes $484 Billion Relief Package

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the Senate passing a US$484 billion package for small businesses, hospitals, and testing; a phase-four coronavirus relief bill; Democrats unveiling a virus workplace safety bill; and more.

Senate Passes $484 Billion Bill that Would Expand Small-Business Aid, Boost Money for Hospitals, and Testing
The U.S. Senate passed a $484 billion deal to replenish a small-business loan program that’s been overrun by demand and to devote more money to hospitals and coronavirus testing. President Trump said he would sign it into law. The legislation would increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program by $310 billion. 

Battle Heats Up for Phase-Four Coronavirus Relief Bill
The Senate’s passage of a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill is setting the stage for negotiations on an even bigger package that could rival the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress last month. The legislation would funnel billions of dollars to state and local governments and could address infrastructure spending and election security. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday called for Congress to begin thinking about “CARES 2” after the Senate deal, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned of the growing amount of debt.

Democrats Unveil Virus Workplace-Safety Bill Amid Relief Talks
House Democrats are taking another shot at forcing the Labor Department to require companies to take specific steps to protect works still on the job during the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard within seven days of the bill’s enactment. That standard—the details of which would be left to OHSA to develop—would force hospitals, grocery stores, warehouses, and other businesses to take various actions designed to protect workers.

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