Congress Struggles to Pass Coronavirus Relief Package

Congress has passed a one-week continuing resolution that avoids a federal government shutdown and gives policymakers another week to negotiate a longer funding bill and find consensus on the details of a coronavirus relief package. Funding authority for the federal government will run out at midnight tonight, Friday, December 11, if the president does not sign the extension. If he signs it before midnight, as he is expected to, the new funding deadline will be Friday, December 18, one week from today.

Congress intends to include a potential coronavirus relief package in a broader omnibus appropriations bill to be passed next week; the package would fund the government until the end of the current 2021 fiscal year. Progress on a coronavirus relief proposal stalled recently, and congressional leaders are now scrambling to put together a package that can pass both the House and the Senate before Congress adjourns for the holidays. Much of the disagreement relates to whether to provide funding for state and local governments and the content of a business liability protection provision.

PIA is actively advocating on a variety of items to include in this next coronavirus relief package, including a second draw for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, rejecting the imposition of a surprise tax on existing PPP loan recipients, and including provisions that would simplify the PPP loan forgiveness process for a larger pool of small business owners.