COVID-19 Federal Updates: May 26, 2020
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported 1,637,456 coronavirus cases and said that the number of deaths had risen by 620 to 97,669.
On May 20, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of non-essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S. Canada borders in order to limit the further spread of the coronavirus.
These measures were implemented on March 21 and were originally in place for 30 days, subject to reevaluation and further extension.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking public comments on how to improve the exclusion process for tariffs and quotas imposed on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (“Section 232”).
On Friday, the President identified houses of worship as essential places that provide essential services as communities reopen.
The CDC’s Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith can be found here.
Reports out of Washington indicate there may be a level of bi-partisan support to extend the eight-week statutory duration of the Paycheck Protection Program to 10 or 12 weeks.
Separately, the U.S. Treasury Secretary said there’s “strong likelihood” that additional federal intervention will be needed to help businesses and workers as states start to re-open and the economy struggles to stabilize.
The administration and many Republicans in Congress still may want to first gauge the effect of trillions of dollars already appropriated.
The U.S. House of Representatives will convene on Tuesday for a pro forma session.
The U.S. Senate will also meet for a pro forma session on Tuesday and plans to return to Washington on June 1.
The federal government released a document last week listing the criteria small businesses must follow to have Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans forgiven.
Lenders should be able to assist borrowers in completing it.
Among the guidelines are directions on how to calculate payroll costs, which must account for 75% of loan proceeds spent.
Meanwhile, the rules could still change as Congress may vote on a proposal that would relax the 75% payroll requirement and give businesses additional time to pay back loans that aren’t forgiven.