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Posted on: March 17, 2020

Federal Update on COVID-19 Response by the National League of Cities

From our colleagues at the National League of Cities we are providing the following brief update on Federal legislative action in response to COVID-19.

The White House released new guidelines aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The changing guidelines show how quickly the response to the virus is evolving.

Looking ahead, as early as 3/17/20, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is expected to introduce a series of proposals to reinforce the economy and help battle the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer said:

The proposal will get money directly into hands of American people and, among other priorities, include federal funding to:

  • Address hospital and treatment capacity issues;
  • Expand Unemployment Insurance and Increase Medicaid funding;
  • Ensure that everyone can afford treatment for coronavirus
  • Provide Immediate Loan Payment Forbearance for ALL Federal Loans, student loans, mortgages, small business loans and others, & Moratoriums on Evictions/Foreclosures;
  • Deliver Immediate help to small businesses;
  • Fund emergency child care, especially for health care workers and first responders;
  • Help schools with remote learning;
  • Provide assistance to keep public transportation running;
  • Address public health and economic needs in Indian Country; and
  • Utilize the Defense Department to provide personnel, equipment, supplies, and critical response capabilities to support on the nationwide response.

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Senators are eager to pass the House’s bill. He added: “Senate Republicans are absolutely convinced that the House’s bill can only be the beginning of Congress’ efforts to secure our economy and support American families.”

Meantime, the House-passed coronavirus bill (H.R. 6201) appeared to hit a snag but could be moving shortly.

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