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In the News 

 

July 30 

Senate's COVID-19 Relief Proposal Excludes DOT Funding
On July 27, Republican Senators released bill text of their latest COVID-19 response legislation. This $1 trillion package is entitled the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act, or HEALS Act. The legislation offers $2 trillion less than the House's HEROES Act passed in May. The proposal focuses on stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and more small business relief, but it does not include relief for state departments of transportation (DOTs) or state or local governments. It does include $10 billion for airport authorities. Additionally, the legislation would create another bipartisan supercommittee charged with finding ways to make federal trust funds solvent, including the Highway Trust Fund. NAPA will continue to push for state DOT relief during this critical time to ensure vitally important construction and maintenance can continue on our roadways throughout 2020 and into FY 2021. Please contact your two senators and urge support for state DOT relief.

 

July 21

Senate Republicans Prepare to Unveil Their COVID Package

Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) said Senate Republicans will propose "a strong starting point" to the next round of coronavirus relief "hopefully as soon as this week." However, after lunch today with his Caucus, McConnell told reporters he does not think they can pass a bill by the end of next week, which potentially sets up the need for an interim measure on unemployment insurance since the supplemental benefits included in the CARES Act expire on July 31, 2020.

At this point, there appears to still be disagreement between the White House and Senate Republicans over what to include in the package. Some of the differences include whether to add more funds for testing, which Senators want and the White House opposes, and a payroll tax cut, which the White House supports and Senators oppose.

Multiple meetings were scheduled throughout today between the White House and Congressional leadership, including a meeting this afternoon between White House Chief of Staff Meadows, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY).

  

July 14

Phase 4 COVID-19 Legislation Update

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced today that Senate Republicans would introduce their own coronavirus relief bill next week as a starting point for bipartisan negotiations.

McConnell indicated his conference would first focus on ironing out any differences with the White House in order to present a unified front when negotiating with congressional Democrats. President Donald Trump has indicated his interest in a payroll tax holiday and other tax breaks for businesses, but congressional Republicans remain skeptical. Any Republican bill is also likely to include liability protection for at least some sectors of the economy that are reopening.

Major issues for debate in the Phase 4 bill will likely consist of unemployment benefits, a new version of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses, some form of additional stimulus checks to individuals, and aid to state and local governments that also includes funding to help schools reopen in the fall.

 

Earlier COVID-19 Related Stories 

  

For archived stories from March 16-April 14, 2020, click here

For archived stories from April 15-May 27, click here

 

 

NAPA Contacts                                                                                                         

Ashley Jackson, Senior Director of Government Affairs

Ajackson@asphaltpavement.org

Jay Hansen, Executive Vice President, Advocacy

Jhansen@asphaltpavement.org