• Advocacy Team

COVID-19 Federal Updates: April 17

Updated: Jun 9


Republican and Democratic leaders remain steadfast in their positions on emergency funding.

  • Under the previously announced schedule, the Senate will not be in session again until Monday, April 20.

  • With new PPP loan approvals being suspended, the pressure will continue to build for House and Senate leaders to negotiate compromise legislation that can be passed by unanimous consent to replenish PPP and provide any additional funding.

At a press conference on Thursday, the President presented his guidelines on the three phases of “Opening Up America Again”. For more information on the guidelines, please go to www.WhiteHouse.gov/OpeningAmerica and see this fact sheet.

  • Vice President Pence reinforced that the White House is giving the 50 states the running room to experiment with economic restarts “at a time and manner of their choosing.”

  • The guidance includes no dates or deadlines, but Trump said if some Governors lift restrictions before the federal May 1 “stop the spread” period, he will view that as success.

Additionally, the President convened two bipartisan dialogues with Members of the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group to discuss the next chapter of the COVID-19 recovery.

The following from Ohio are a part of the group:

  • Senator Rob Portman, R-OH

  • Representative Jim Jordan, R-OH

  • Representative Anthony Gonzalez, R-OH

  • Representative Marcia Fudge, D-OH

  • Representative Warren Davidson, R-OH

  • Representative Steve Chabot, R-OH

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect manufacturing workers from exposure to coronavirus.

Patients who get financial help from drug companies to cover their copayments for prescription drugs could owe a bigger chunk of their costs under a proposed federal rule.

  • The annual rule, which sets a wide range of standards regarding benefits and payments for most health plans for next year, would allow employers and insurers to decide that drug companies’ assistance doesn’t count toward their members’ deductible or out-of-pocket maximum spending limits. Only payments made by patients themselves would factor into those calculations.

  • Want to learn more? Click here.

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new contract for ventilator production rated under the Defense Production Act (DPA), to General Electric (GE), in partnership with Ford. GE’s contract, at a total contract price of $336 million, is for 50,000 ventilators to be produced by July 13.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) has been closely monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) since January 31. This FAQ was last updated on April 16, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Education distributed $388 million in funding to institutions of higher education in Ohio as part of its COVID-19 response. The higher education emergency relief fund was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently signed into law.

  • Cleveland State University (CSU) reportedly received more than $12 million.

On Thursday, FEMA released the “Disaster Financial Management Guide” to support jurisdictions in establishing and implementing sound disaster financial management practices, which are critical for successful response and recovery. The guide takes an all-hazards approach and addresses a broad range of issues and contains concepts, principles and resources applicable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response environment.

Crain’s Cleveland: Pandemic restrictions entangle employees with H-1B visas

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