Coronavirus Government Response Update—Senate Vote on House Coronavirus Bill Imminent

March 18, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—Senate Vote on House Coronavirus Bill Imminent

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 U.S. Senate’s passage of the second coronavirus bill, ISSA asking the Senate to consider improvements to H.R. 6201, the association urging the U.S. President Donald Trump to provide tariff relief, and more.

Senate Passes Coronavirus Bill
On Wednesday the U.S. Senate passed the House of Representatives emergency coronavirus bill, H.R. 6201. Prior to its passage the House made some important “technical” changes which ISSA supported related to small businesses. These changes allow the Labor Department secretary to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from abiding by the extended paid leave requirement if it would significantly impact the “viability of the business”. The bill also includes free testing, state unemployment insurance aid, and up to 10 days emergency sick leave. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. ISSA will provide a full analysis of what the bill means for the cleaning industry tomorrow.

ISSA Asks Senators to Improve Paid Leave in House Coronavirus Bill
ISSA, along with 111 other organizations representing hundreds of thousands of businesses that employ millions of employees in various industries across the country, signed on to a letter to Senators McConnell (R-KY) and Schumer (D-NY) asking them to consider improvements to H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The suggested improvements will ensure all American workers have access to paid leave in the face of this public health crisis, while also providing relief to businesses and important incentives to sustain access to employer-provided health benefits, on which nearly 180 million Americans depend.

ISSA Urges President to Provide Tariff Relief
Americans for Free Trade called on President Trump to suspend tariffs as part of the Administration’s emergency measures to help mitigate economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The letter was signed by 160 businesses and organizations representing every part of the U.S. economy, including ISSA, as well as manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, forest products, retailers, technology companies, service suppliers, natural gas and oil companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders.

Coronavirus Pandemic Prompts State Lawmakers to Push Paid Leave
Some Democratic state lawmakers, like their congressional counterparts, are redoubling their efforts to pass paid leave legislation, arguing that the spread of the novel coronavirus proves that workers must be able to stay home without losing pay when they’re sick, quarantined or caring for a family member. “The policy of paid sick time is an important policy anytime. It’s particularly important when we’re trying to stop the spread of a global pandemic,” said state Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Kentucky Democrat who has put forward a bill that would require employers to give workers accrued sick days. Yet efforts to pass comprehensive paid leave legislation in states such as Kentucky, Colorado, and New York face challenges.

Other links of interest