COVID-19 Federal Updates: April 22
Updated: Jun 9, 2020
U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 45,000 on Tuesday doubling in a little over a week and rising by a near-record amount in a single day, according to a Reuters tally.
On Tuesday afternoon Congressional leaders released the text of a compromise agreement to provide more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and reimburse hospitals and healthcare providers for COVID-19 related expenses. The U.S. Senate passed the $483.4 billion relief measure and the expectation is the House will return to vote on Thursday. President Trump has indicated he will sign the compromise legislation into law. Important provisions include:
Increases the appropriation level for the Paycheck Protection Program from $349 billion to $670.335 billion; the funding is expected to last for roughly two weeks, the same amount of time the initial round of funding lasted.
Increases the authorization level for the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Grants from $10 billion to $20 billion.
$75 billion for reimbursement to hospitals and healthcare providers to support the need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue. Language remains the same as CARES Act. This funding is in addition to the $100 billion provided in the CARES Act.
$25 billion for necessary expenses to research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated the U.S. Senate will not consider new legislation until it returns in full to Washington. At the earliest, the Senate will likely return on May 4.
House Democrats will likely ask to include more federal help for state and local governments, which was not part of the $483 billion deal, in any possible future funding bill.
President Trump on Tuesday announced details of his executive order to suspend immigration amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying the measure would initially last for 60 days and apply to those seeking permanent residence.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance that provides relief to individuals and businesses affected by travel disruptions arising from the COVID-19 emergency. The guidance includes the following:
Revenue Procedure 2020-20, which provides that, under certain circumstances, up to 60 consecutive calendar days of U.S. presence that are presumed to arise from travel disruptions caused by the COVID-19 emergency will not be counted for purposes of determining U.S. tax residency and for purposes of determining whether an individual qualifies for tax treaty benefits for income from personal services performed in the United States;
Revenue Procedure 2020-27, which provides that qualification for exclusions from gross income under I.R.C. section 911 will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country due to the COVID-19 emergency based on certain departure dates; and
An FAQ, which provides that certain U.S. business activities conducted by a nonresident alien or foreign corporation will not be counted for up to 60 consecutive calendar days in determining whether the individual or entity is engaged in a U.S. trade or business or has a U.S. permanent establishment, but only if those activities would not have been conducted in the United States but for travel disruptions arising from the COVID-19 emergency.
Additional Federal Guidance (as of April 21,2020 at 5:30 p.m.):
WH - Memorandum on Providing Continued Federal Support for Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Facilitate Economic Recovery (Click here)
HHS - HHS Announces Nearly $1 Billion in CARES Act Grants to Support Older Adults and People with Disabilities in the Community During the COVID-19 Emergency (Click here)
HHS - Statements from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Interoperability Flexibilities amid the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (Click here)
FDA - The Path Forward: Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (Click here)
FDA - FDA Authorizes First Test for Patient At-Home Sample Collection (Click here)
FDA - FDA Provides Flexibility to the Food Industry to Support Food Supply Chain and Meet Consumer Demand During COVID-19 (Click here)
NIH - Expert U.S. panel develops NIH treatment guidelines for COVID-19 (Click here)
DHS-FEMA - FEMA Programs Helping People from Coast to Coast (Click here)
Treasury - Action Needed for Social Security Recipients with Dependents Who Do Not File Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment (Click here)
Treasury - Treasury Finalizes Agreements with Major Airlines, Disburses Initial Payroll Support Program Payments (Click here)
Treasury - Treasury, IRS announce cross-border tax guidance related to travel disruptions arising from the COVID-19 emergency (Click here)
ED - Secretary DeVos Delivers $6 Billion in Additional Grant Funding to Support Continued Education at America's Colleges, Universities (Click here)
HUD - HUD Awards $1.5 Million in Funding to Support COVID-19 Related Fair Housing Activities (Click here)
DOL - U.S. Department of Labor Ends Temporary Non-Enforcement of Paid Leave Protections to Help American Workers During Coronavirus Pandemic (Click here)
DOD - DOD Details $133 Million Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 Project (Click here)
VA- VA’s telehealth system grows as Veterans have access to unlimited data while using VA Video Connect (Click here)
VA - VA researchers to study COVID-19 in aging Veterans with dementia (Click here)