Federal Update

September 9, 2020

Senate Republicans unveiled the text of their “targeted” coronavirus relief proposal yesterday afternoon, with plans to vote as early as Thursday on the legislation. The estimated total cost of the Senate package is $500 billion, although GOP leaders pitched “offsets” that include the rescission of hundreds of billions in unspent cash through the CARES Act, H.R. 748 (116)

The Senate bill does not include additional aid to state and local governments.  And while it includes a provision to implement another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) , a proposal to ensure employers with more than 500 employees are eligible for funding is absent from the bill.   check out a summary

NYS Council Analysis:  Senate R’s are moving backwards.  Instead of moving closer to the bill passed by the House in May, the Senate has now backed off an apparent willingness to spend $1.2T.   Last week Senate leaders were willing to appropriate a total of $1.2 T in the next bill while the House had come down from their previous package cost of $3T to $2.2T.

Given recent estimates that have the total amount appropriated for mental health and substance use disorder providers (nationally) at just 1% of total funds distributed through the Provider Relief Fund, the National Council and the NYS Council continue to push a proposal to appropriate $38.5B for our portion of the healthcare delivery system.  In addition, we continue to press Congress to ensure there is another emergency bill and that bill includes generous funding for state and local governments as well as a provision that would extend any future rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program to agencies with more than 500 employees.  

House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continue to state the Senate bill is a non-starter.  Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to have the votes to pass the Senate bill that is likely to move to the floor of the Senate tomorrow or Friday.