Federal Update

December 4, 2020

During the Governor’s daily briefing yesterday, he discussed the status of COVID-19 relief negotiations in Washington, and specifically about a potential deal we spotted and informed you about on Wednesday.

Here’s a summary of his comments on this topic:
From Governor’s perspective, the best COVID-19 relief proposal on the table (in Washington DC) at the present time is a bipartisan proposal that would deliver an estimated $908B in additional funds for COVID relief.  The proposal includes $160B for state and local assistance.  The Governor said this appears to be the best and most likely deal to get done before Congress goes home for Christmas.  He sees it as a good ‘first step’, an ‘interim step’ but that it is no where near the amount states need to fully address their ongoing fiscal crises.  The Governor stated he thought NY’s portion of the state and local assistance in this deal could possibly hold us until March 2021, but we would absolutely need a larger more comprehensive deal at that time to protect communities and individuals who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing crisis.

Here’s what Politico Huddle had to say about the likelihood of a deal (as described above):   “A few days ago, it looked like we would have a government funding deal and no coronavirus relief package before the holidays. But now, it’s looking like it could be the opposite.  While lawmakers are struggling to wrap up work on an omnibus spending bill before the Dec. 11 deadline, optimism is growing that Congress might actually be able to clinch an agreement on some coronavirus aid.  The latest sign of progress: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked by phone for the first time since the election about a potential stimulus deal. “Yeah, well we had a good conversation. I think we’re both interested in getting an outcome, both on the omnibus and on a coronavirus package,” McConnell said.   So what broke the logjam? Leaders were under mounting pressure to cut a deal, with the pandemic raging and a slew of aid programs set to expire before the end of the year. But centrist lawmakers in the Senate and House also played a key role in jump-starting the talks, bucking their leadership to introduce their own bipartisan plan this week.  This is the most movement we’ve seen in months, and it’s clear everyone wants a deal before Christmas. But the proposal released by moderates this week has yet to be put into actual legislative text, and there are still some more compromises that need to be made. So the devil’s in the details, as they say.

Here’s more:  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/03/coronavirus-stimulus-relief-moderates-442724