ISSA Advocacy Recap—Congressional Leaders Resume Stimulus TalksDecember 4, 2020
Welcome to the ISSA Advocacy Recap, our regular roundup of the latest public policy issues impacting the cleaning industry. This week’s recap touches on congressional leaders resuming economic stimulus talks, an ISSA-led coalition urging federal elected officials to support a cleaning tax credit as part of the next stimulus package, COVID-19 emergency workplace standards, and more.
Congressional Leaders Resume Talks; Congress Rushes to Strike a Stimulus Deal
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R) spoke Thursday for the first time since at least the 2020 election as Congress scrambles to strike a coronavirus stimulus deal and prevent a government shutdown, CNBC reported. The congressional leaders discussed their “shared commitment to completing an omnibus [spending bill] and COVID relief as soon as possible,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet. They have signaled they want to resolve both issues by December 11, the last day of government funding.
ISSA-spearheaded Coalition Urges Support for a Cleaning Tax Credit
An ISSA-led coalition of more than 40 groups representing millions of employees and many millions more customers recently urged federal elected officials to support the inclusion of a “healthy workplace” tax credit in the next federal stimulus package to protect the safety of workers, customers, and the public. “Businesses and nonprofits are struggling to keep their doors open and have spent and will continue to spend an enormous amount to ensure workplaces are as safe and healthy for workers and customers as possible,” said ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft. “A healthy workplace tax credit is a targeted, commonsense, and bipartisan-supported measure to help ensure the safety of workers, customers, and the public.”
Take Action Now: Tell your elected officials to include a cleaning tax credit as part of the next stimulus package.
COVID-19 Emergency Workplace Standards
A patchwork of federal and state guidance is being implemented across the U.S. that address reopening workplaces following COVID-19-induced shutdowns. This ISSA webpage provides resources on such guidance at the federal and international levels, as well as information on enforceable emergency workplace rules some states have implemented in the absence of federal standards. Many of these enforceable rules have specific requirements related to the use of personal protective equipment, cleaning, disinfecting, and hand hygiene, which are of specific relevance to the cleaning industry.
Governors Announce Small Business Aid alongside Restrictions
Governors of both parties have approved hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for small businesses, nonprofits, and renters struggling through the coronavirus pandemic and recession, according to The PEW Charitable Trusts. The recent announcements are partly due to a looming deadline—if states don’t allocate federal aid they received in March by the end of this year, they have to return unspent funds to the U.S. Treasury. Most of the spending governors have announced is federal dollars. But the surge in COVID-19 cases also is a cause for the new spending. Several Democratic governors have announced aid alongside public health orders that will limit business activity, drawing criticism from some GOP lawmakers and business officials.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) plans to veto legislation that would give protection against COVID-related lawsuits to schools, businesses, and nursing homes, The Tribune-Democrat reported. House Bill 1737 had been backed by groups lobbying for local schools, as well as business and healthcare industry groups. Wolf is rejecting the legislation as being “too broad.”