Benefits / Resources / Articles
August 21, 2020

Movements on the Hill

As you may have seen in recent news, the House and Senate have remained gridlocked on how to provide support for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. However, this stalemate appears to be on the verge of finally giving way as legislators within each party’s ranks apply pressure to congressional leadership.

The Senate Majority Leader has indicated a “skinny” version of coronavirus relief legislation is scheduled to be rolled out this week but stated that the Senate wouldn’t pass a postal-only bill. Part of this legislation would turn a prior $10 billion loan to the U.S. Postal Service into a grant if the agency’s financial outlook worsens. Since the Senate is not currently in session, the bill has yet to be proposed, but this is a list of provision believed to be in the legislation:

  • $300 in weekly unemployment insurance benefits through December 27th
    • States have the option of providing an additional $100 but we don’t know yet which states are opting in
    • This is set to be retroactive to August 1st, 2020
    • Will apply to those eligible for at least $100 in state benefits
    • It may take weeks for states to enact if passed
  • $158 billion in additional funding for the Payment Protection Program (PPP) which lapsed on August 8th
  • $105 billion for k-12 schools, colleges, and universities
  • $29 billion for COVID-19 vaccine and drug development and distribution
  • $16 billion for contact tracing and testing
  • $58 billion in loan funds for a new program to aid seasonal businesses in low-income areas
  • $10 billion to assist firms that invest in small businesses
  • Extend liability protections to schools, health care professionals, and businesses

Part of the extension on PPP funding includes a proposal enabling small businesses to “second draw” if they have suffered a 35% revenue loss over the same period a year ago. Before you apply for PPP forgiveness, you should consider waiting to see what happens with this legislation before applying.

You can defer 6.2% of employee taxes starting in September but since this could all change, you should consider waiting.

The House and Senate are set to return to D.C. by mid-September. We will continue to provide updates as they are released. For now, we wait to see what the finalized bill will look like.