TRP Tip Sheet: Senate Passes House PPP Flexibility Act

— SENATE PASSES HOUSE PPP FLEXIBILITY ACT. PPP recipients will soon receive additional time and flexibility in using their loans.

— WITH NO GOP INPUT, STAKEHOLDERS FEAR HOUSE HIGHWAY BILL MAY STALL. GOP lawmakers criticized the bill as lacking flexibility for states and giving “outsized” funding to urban areas at the expense of rural communities.

— DEMOCRATS PREPARE POLICE REFORM BILLS AFTER FLOYD’S DEATH. Democrats are preparing a sweeping package of police reforms as pressure builds on the federal government to respond to the death of George Floyd and others in law enforcement interactions.

— FEDERAL RESERVE EXPANDS MUNICIPAL LENDING FACILITY. This expansion will allow at least two cities or counties in every state to be eligible, regardless of population.

— BIPARTISAN COMMITTEE LEADERS PRESS HHS ON PROVIDER FUNDING. Key lawmakers are demanding a timeline for paying out the remainder of the $175 billion in COVID-19 funds that Congress appropriated months ago.

 

TRP Tip Sheet: House-Passed PPP Bill Hits Snag in Upper Chamber

— HOUSE-PASSED PPP BILL HITS SNAG IN UPPER CHAMBER. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have threatened to prevent unanimous consent passage of the bill.

— DEMOCRATS OFFER $494 BILLION TRANSPORT BILL TARGETING ECONOMY, CLIMATE. Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation bill this morning.

— WHITE HOUSE WEIGHS OPTIONS FOR NEXT STIMULUS BILL. President Trump is planning to meet with his senior advisers as soon as this week to discuss policy options for the next coronavirus relief package.

— HHS ANNOUNCES $250 MILLION TO SUPPORT HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS RESPONDING TO COVID-19. This tranche of funding seeks to support hospitals and other health care entities that are treating patients and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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.

 

TRP is Hiring: Financial Services Legislative Assistant

Thorn Run Partners, one of the top lobbying firms in Washington D.C., is seeking a Legislative Assistant with an interest in federal politics and financial services policy to aid our executive-level advocacy team on a variety of writing, research, and administrative projects. The Legislative Assistant will spearhead a variety of legislative and regulatory projects, such as drafting a widely distributed weekly financial services report, facilitating advocacy campaigns, summarizing congressional hearings, analyzing federal regulations, tracking financial services policy issues, and more. A strong pedigree in writing or legislative analysis is imperative.

 

TRP Tip Sheet: Senate to Take Up House-Passed PPP Bill

— MCCONNELL: SENATE TO TAKE UP HOUSE-PASSED PPP BILL. The upper chamber will “soon” take up a House-passed measure that seeks to reform the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

— HOUSE LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR BUDGET REFORMS IN ‘CARES 2.0.’ A bipartisan group of Members are calling for provisions that address the federal debt and trust funds for Medicare and Social Security to be included in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. 

— STATES LOSE SOME CLEAN WATER ACT AUTHORITY UNDER NEW EPA RULE. States have less say in issuing Clean Water Act permits under an EPA rule finalized Monday as the Trump administration and conservative lawmakers seek to speed energy projects.

— LAWMAKERS BEGIN BIPARTISAN PUSH TO CUT OFF POLICE ACCESS TO MILITARY-STYLE GEAR. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have begun a new push to shut down a Pentagon program that transfers military weaponry to local law enforcement departments.

— OCC LETTER TO MAYORS: EXTENDED SHUTDOWNS WILL HURT LENDERS. OCC Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks penned a letter to the U.S. Conference of Mayors yesterday saying that extended COVID-19 shutdowns could hurt banks’ ability to lend.

— CMS ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE FOR STATES ON COVID-19. The guidance to states covers COVID-19 survey activities, CARES Act funding, enhanced enforcement for infection control deficiencies, and quality improvement activities in nursing homes.

 

COVID-19 and the Threat to Clinical Trials

TRP partners Beau Schuyler and Andrew Rosenberg have identified a little-discussed downstream consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic – the impact on clinical trials and the potential for disruption or cancellation of important drug discovery programs absent federal action.

 

TRP Health Policy Report (6/1)

Capitol Hill Update

Senators will return from their Memorial Day district work period this week to a jam-packed agenda for the month of June. In addition to a consideration of presidential nominations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that the upper chamber will work on the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as a well as a bill that would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund while also addressing billions of dollars in national park backlogs. The Senate is also likely to take up Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reform legislation at some point in the near future, but whether it takes action on additional COVID-19 relief this month remains to be seen.

 

TRP Tip Sheet: Senate Returns to Busy Agenda

— SENATE RETURNS TO BUSY JUNE AGENDA. Senators will return from their Memorial Day district work period this afternoon to a jam-packed agenda for the month of June.

— HOUSE RELEASES UPDATED LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR. Democratic leadership has issued an updated legislative calendar for the balance of the 116th Congress.

CONGRESS LOOKS TO CLINCH PPP REFORM. Following House passage of a bill that seeks to provide recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with more time and flexibility in using these loans, the Senate is pushing to follow suit this week.

EPA TO CHANGE SOME CLEAN WATER ACT RULES. The Environmental Protection Agency is setting new rules aimed at speeding up Clean Water Act permit approvals.

EXPANDING TAX CREDIT FOR BUSINESSES RETAINING WORKERS GAINS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing interest in expanding a tax credit designed to help keep workers connected to their jobs.

— TREASURY PUBLISHES UPDATED FAQS ON CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND. The Treasury Department updated its list of frequently asked questions that provide examples of eligible and ineligible expenditures of the state, local, and tribal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

 

TRP Tip Sheet: House to Vote on PPP Reform Bills

— HOUSE TO VOTE ON PPP REFORM BILLS. The lower chamber will consider bills seeking to promote flexibility for PPP loan recipients, as well as more transparency for those who have received the funds.

SENATE NOT LIKELY TO TAKE UP PPP LEGISLATION THIS WEEK. While Congressional leadership has expressed optimism about reaching a deal that would provide PPP recipients with additional time and flexibility, next steps in the Senate are unclear.

— SENIOR HOUSE LAWMAKERS PUSH TO SPEED UP BROADBAND FUNDING. Two House lawmakers are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to speed up broadband infrastructure funding to rural parts of the U.S.

— HOUSE CANCELS VOTE ON FISA REAUTHORIZATION. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is cancelling a vote on a bill to reauthorize three intelligence programs, marking the second day in a row that the legislation has been punted. 

— WHITE HOUSE TO PUSH FOR SURPRISE BILLING ACTION IN ‘CARES 2.0’ TALKS. Reports out of the Trump administration suggest that the White House will push for action on surprise medical bills ahead of the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.

— HHS UPDATES PROVIDER RELIEF FUNDING WEBSITE. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated its webpage outlining details on provider relief and related health funding. 

 

Health Policy Report (5/26)

Capitol Hill Update

Following the long Memorial Day Weekend, the House will return to Washington tomorrow as leadership looks to utilize the lower chamber’s new remote work flexibilities to return to some resemblance of regular order. The rule change will allow Members to submit votes for up to ten absent lawmakers by proxy and permit committees to convene hearings, markups, and depositions through a chief administrative officer-approved software platform. These changes will only last 45 days before needing renewal and will not extend beyond the 116th Congress. In the coming days and weeks ahead, House leadership expects to utilize these remote work flexibilities to convene virtual hearings, markups, and consideration of key 2020 legislative priorities including fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and reauthorization of expiring Surface Transportation and Water Resources Development programs