TRP COVID-19 Policy Memos

TRP has published a series of memos outlining the numerous policy changes and initiatives undertaken by Congress to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These memos are designed to help your organization track and better understand the steps lawmakers have taken to address existing and emerging issues from the outbreak. As always, please feel free to follow up with the TRP team with any specific questions or feedback.

 

Health Policy Report (8/10)

Capitol Hill Update

With negotiations on the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation at a standstill, President Donald Trump issued a series of executive orders on pandemic-related priorities over the weekend. The orders seek to the restore the enhanced federal unemployment benefits at a rate lower than the CARES Act allocation, defer payroll taxes until early 2021, renew the moratorium on evictions, and continue deferring student loan payments and accrued interest under the CARES Act Statute.

 

Health Policy Report (8/5)

Capitol Hill Update

Negotiations on the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation yielded no progress over the weekend as officials struggle to coalesce behind a bipartisan agreement. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) each acknowledged that their sides have a long way to go toward reaching a deal on the next relief package. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is remaining steadfast on his desire to see a smaller relief package that would address the expired unemployment benefits, extend the moratorium on housing evictions, and provide another round of direct payments — an approach that has been rejected by House Democrats thus far. As the sides remain far apart on the size and scope of the next package, it remains to be seen whether the talks can produce a bipartisan agreement by week’s end.

 

TRP Health Policy Report (7/27)

Capitol Hill Update

Senate Republicans are poised to officially introduce their ‘CARES 2.0’ proposal this week after delaying its rollout due to lingering debates over certain policy issues. While Senators reached an “agreement in principle” last week according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), disagreements over the unemployment insurance and stimulus payment pieces pushed the intraparty negotiations into the weekend. Once the bill is officially introduced, negotiations between Senate Republicans, House Democrats, and the Trump administration will begin in earnest, and the sides will need to bridge deep divides over the size and scope of the next COVID-19 relief bill. If the parties struggle to clinch an agreement, it’s likely that lawmakers could try to pass smaller bills that address pressing areas of need such as extending unemployment insurance and the moratorium on housing evictions. For more details on the Senate GOP’s forthcoming proposal, click here for a draft summary obtained by TRP.

 

Health Policy Report (7/20)

Capitol Hill Update

House and Senate lawmakers will return to action this week to begin a two-week legislative blitz to close out the month of July before leaving for the August district work period. Negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief package are expected to begin in earnest once Members return, as it is widely expected that Senate Republicans will introduce an opening offer proposal later in the week. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) forthcoming proposal is expected to focus on health care, jobs, reopening schools and universities, and liability protections. While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed a willingness to get something done on the next relief package, it remains to be seen whether the parties can clinch a bipartisan agreement given the deep policy divides over the size and scope of the next COVID-19 bill.

 

Health Policy Report (7/13)

Capitol Hill Update

No votes are currently scheduled in Congress this week, but Members on the House Appropriations Committee are set to resume their full committee markups of fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bills. Appropriators will take up the spending bills for: (1) Energy-Water Development (report) and Labor-HHS-Education (report) today (2) DefenseCommerce-Justice-Science (CJS), and Transportation-HUD tomorrow; and (3) Homeland Security and Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) on Wednesday. House floor action on the funding bills that clear the full committee is expected to occur prior to the end of the month. Meanwhile, the Senate’s appropriations process remains gridlocked over certain poison pill amendments, and immediate next steps remain unclear. 

 

Health Policy Report (7/6)

Capitol Hill Update

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application process has officially been reopened, thanks to swift action by Congress last week. House and Senate lawmakers were able to clinch unanimous consent agreements on a bill that that would reopen the application process for the roughly $134 billion remaining in the signature small business rescue program, pushing the application deadline from June 30 to August 18. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law over the weekend, and lawmakers are already eyeing additional PPP reforms in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. 

 

Health Policy Report (6/29)

Capitol Hill Update

House lawmakers will meet today to kick off a two-day legislative blitz prior to the July 4 district work period. Democrats are expected to call up a sweeping 10 year, $1.5 trillion package of infrastructure legislation (textsummaryfact sheet) prior to adjourning for the July 4 district work period this week. The wide-ranging, ambitious package would allocate funding to address several key areas including surface transportation, schools and child-care facilities, hospital and health care infrastructure, drinking water, housing, broadband, and green energy. It would also look to promote and expand bond financing tools to help state and local governments raise money to address their own projects. The package is likely to pass the lower chamber next week but is considered dead-on-arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate. However, with the current surface transportation law set to expire on Sept. 30, officials will likely look to reach a compromise version that reflects bipartisan priorities in the House and Senate surface transportation reauthorization measures.

 

Health Policy Report (6/22)

Capitol Hill Update

This week, House and Senate lawmakers are set to consider the Democratic and Republican visions for comprehensive police reform. After clearing The Justice in Policing Act out of the House Judiciary Committee last week, the lower chamber is eyeing a vote on the Democrats’ bill when lawmakers convene for votes on Thursday and Friday. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, plan to consider their Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act. While lawmakers have expressed a sense of urgency with respect to clinching meaningful reform, it remains to be seen whether lawmakers can reach a bipartisan deal. For more on the state of play with respect to these Congressional police reform efforts, click here to read TRP’s comprehensive memo.