Federal Relief Deal: Deadline Approaching

September 30, 2020

In addition to the information we shared on Monday night and Tuesday re: what’s in the House’s updated  relief bill, it is our understanding that there is the possibility of another round of funding ($25B) for healthcare providers that could come outside of the legislative process which may/may not produce a 3-way deal on a new relief package. The funds would be bailable to healthcare providers on a first come, first served basis. Providers who have already received PRF – and even those who have received a total of 2% of their gross revenues – would be eligible to apply.  The announcement regarding this new pool of resources could come as soon as next week.  Stand by for more.

Pelosi eyes last-ditch shot at stimulus deal with Minuchin

Democrats hope to receive a GOP proposal by noon on Wednesday.

Democrats, for example, have demanded aid for state and local governments, which have seen revenues plummet during the pandemic. Republicans have dismissed it as a nonstarter.

The bill Pelosi introduced Monday is a pared down version of the massive $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the House passed in May. That bill was opposed by Republicans, who balked at the cost and instead called for a “pause” in coronavirus talks for much of the summer.

The latest House version includes $436 billion in aid for state and local governments, $75 billion to bolster coronavirus testing and contact tracing nationwide, restores expired federal unemployment benefits and provides another round of stimulus payments for most Americans. The bill also provides additional relief for airlines, restaurants and small businesses that wasn’t included in the Heroes legislation.

Pelosi’s decision to introduce a smaller coronavirus relief package comes after weeks of resistance, despite centrist Democrats and some senior lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, publicly suggesting the idea.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had previously dismissed the suggestion, saying it only weakened Democrats’ negotiating hand in talks with Republicans. Republican leaders, meanwhile, have insisted they won’t go above a relief package that costs around $1.5 trillion, keeping the two parties far apart in the talks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has cast doubt on Congress’ chances of approving any relief package ahead of the election. McConnell is instead focused on securing Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the high court before the election.

But some centrist House Democrats believed that another, narrower bill could remind voters back home that their side of the Capitol at least made an attempt to deliver more relief, even if the measure doesn’t completely restart talks with Republicans.

“Passing a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package should be our number one priority in the coming days,” a group of moderate Democrats wrote in a letter to Pelosi and Hoyer this week.

John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman contributed to this report.