Legislative Update: Congressional Action to COVID-19

H.R. 6201 - Expected soon

The COVID-19 crisis has sparked an unprecedented response and action from Congress, urging lawmakers to work together and act swiftly to respond to the economic crisis looming over the country. As a result, Congress is expected to enact H.R. 6201 "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" as early as this week.

Things are moving fast in Congress.  Yesterday, at a lunch event, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (AL-R) said “The Senate will not leave town until we have passed another bill to address this emergency.”  

HERE IS THE LATEST:


Earlier this week, on Monday evening, the House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment to H.R. 6201, “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” containing technical corrections to the original bill.  The original bill passed on March 14 contains two new tax credits, one to fund a paid sick-leave benefit, and the other to fund a family and medical-leave benefit, associated with COVID-19. 

Yesterday morning, the Senate also has started working on H.R. 6201.  While Senators that view the tax credits as controversial may try to reshape them, the President is urging and lobbying for act swiftly and get the bill passed right away.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will be on the Hill to persuade GOP senators it’s the best deal they can get, given the circumstances.

 

Additional Massive Stimulus - in the works


In addition to H.R. 6201, the House, the Senate and the White House are working on an additional bill to stimulate the economy, which is expected to include cash payments to individuals.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY-D) have asked their members for recommendations for an additional stimulus bill to help stabilize the economy as soon as possible.  Both leaders have promised to work for a swift bi-partisan and bi-cameral agreement.  On the floor yesterday, Senator Schumer outlined the Democrats’ proposal involving total spending of $750 billion on safety-net programs. 

On the GOP side, senators’ proposals were discussed at a caucus luncheon yesterday afternoon.  Meanwhile, Secretary Mnuchin and White House Legislative Director Ueland (OR-R) are talking to both sides.  In the House Ways and Means Chairman Neal (MA-D) and Secretary Mnuchin are talking regularly and the chairman could possibly unveil an economic stimulus measure when members return next week.

A possible outcome of this future stimulus bill could include an expansion and further renewal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).  As you can see, the situation is very fluid and there are many developments happening very rapidly.  

Walton continues to monitor all developments on behalf of our clients and partners.  As your trusted advisor, we are committed to providing you with important information as we learn of it.  If you have any questions, be sure to contact us.

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