Negotiations over Stimulus Package Continue

Posted September 9, 2020

As negotiations over another COVID relief package continue, Majority Leader McConnell plans to bring a narrower package to the Senate floor for consideration this week. While we do not expect this bill to pass, we thought it important to summarize the facets of the bill.

  • Child Care – Initially, this legislation did not include new funds for child care, but after extensive lobbying from Senator Ernst, it now provides $15 billion for child care, including $10 billion for the Senator’s Back to Work Child Care Grants Act. It would also provide $5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
  • Support for Farmers – It would provide $20 billion in additional funding for agriculture
    • PPP for Producers Act – It includes legislation that Senator Ernst worked on with Senators Thune and Baldwin to allow Schedule F farmers to base their loan amount on gross income instead of net income, which will allow more folks to qualify for PPP as well as receive larger loan amounts. If farmers have already received loans, they would be able to reapply for the higher amount.
  • Additional Aid for Small Businesses – Provides additional $257.7 billion for additional PPP loans and makes important changes to the program.
    • PPP Second Draw – Businesses who have less than 300 employees and have lost more than 30% of their revenue would be able to receive a second PPP.
    • 501c6 entities with less than 150 employees would be eligible for PPP as long as they do not receive more than 10% of receipts from lobbying activities.
    • Streamlined forgiveness – Simplifies forgiveness process for loans under $150,000 (borrower would just have to attest that they were used properly), but preserves the ability for SBA to audit these loans and provides funding for them to conduct these audits.
  • Unemployment – Gives states the option to continue providing $300/week in extra, federally funded unemployment benefits to those who qualified under the CARES Act through December 27.
  • Education – Provides $105 billion to help get students back to school and provide for the continued learning of all students in elementary and secondary education and higher education.
  • Charitable Giving – Increases above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions in 2020 from $300 to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for those filing joint returns.
  • Provides $16 billion for testing, contact tracing and surveillance in states. Requires additional reporting by states to improve accountability over these federal funds.
  • Provides $31 billion for vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic development; vaccine distribution; the Strategic National Stockpile and grants for the establishment of state stockpiles.
  • Liability Protections for businesses and nonprofits that follow public-health guidelines