ISSA Advocacy Recap—Coronavirus Relief Talks Continue

December 18, 2020 ISSA Advocacy Recap—Coronavirus Relief Talks Continue

Happy holidays from your ISSA Government Affairs team and 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 the continuation of coronavirus relief talks, an FDA advisory panel recommending emergency use authorization for a second COVID-19 vaccine, ISSA urging governors to prioritize the cleaning industry for such vaccines, and more.

Stopgap Funding Unresolved; Coronavirus Relief Talks Drag On
Disagreements over a temporary spending bill, including whether one was even necessary, threatened a government funding lapse as U.S. congressional lawmakers worked their way through COVID-19 aid bill disputes, Roll Call reported. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (SD-R) said Thursday afternoon that negotiations on a US$1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and pandemic aid package had turned into a game of “whack-a-mole” where one issue gets resolved and another pops up. Lawmakers were preparing a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open over the weekend to buy time for votes in both chambers. Take action now: Using ISSA’s Action Center, please take a moment to tell your federal elected officials to include support for cleaning as part of any COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress.

FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
A second coronavirus vaccine is one step closer to the arms of Americans, according to CBS News. An advisory panel voted Thursday to recommend the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorize Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use, as they did last week for Pfizer’s vaccine. Members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 20-0 with one abstention in favor of the vaccine. The FDA is expected to quickly authorize emergency use of the vaccine in the fight against COVID-19, which means the vaccine could start being administered as early as next week.

ISSA Urges Governors to Prioritize the Cleaning Industry for COVID-19 Vaccines
ISSA asked the governors of every U.S. state and territory for their assistance in ensuring the entire cleaning supply chain is able to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic without interruption. In a December 11, 2020 letter to governors, ISSA Executive Director John H. Barrett stated, “Our members are on the front lines of protecting the public health…Accordingly, it is imperative essential workers in the cleaning industry have “prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccines to help minimize disruptions in the supply chain of manufacturing and distributing cleaning and hygiene-related products that are critical to public health. It is equally as important that frontline workers tasked with cleaning and disinfecting also are protected. Our members are working tirelessly to help prevent the further spread of this deadly virus.” Take action now: Using ISSA’s Action Center, please take a moment to urge your elected officials to prioritize cleaning industry access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Bipartisan Congressional Group Urges Extension of China Tariff Exclusions
In a December 11, 2020 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, a group of bipartisan members of Congress urged the ambassador to “extend all active exclusions from the Section 301 China Tariffs, which are currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020, for an appropriate amount of time to provide economic stability as businesses grapple with the unprecedented hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter stated many of the expiring exclusions are “critical to the pandemic response. They cover inputs for household and professional cleaning goods, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE)…” Through our active participation in the Americans for Free Trade coalition, ISSA strongly supports legislation to temporarily suspend duties on PPE and other products needed for the COVID-19 response.

Other links of interest