AN UPDATE FROM NAW GOVERNMENT RELATIONS TEAM - 8.20

Latest on the Next Congressional Pandemic Relief Package

Negotiations between Congressional Leaders and the White House on the next COVID-19 relief package still remain in a stalemate.  Lawmakers left Washington last week after Democratic leaders and the White House were unable to agree on another round of pandemic relief aid.

Speaker Pelosi has called House Members back to Washington for a rare weekend session this Saturday to vote on a bill to shore up the U.S. Postal Service, but Democratic leaders have been facing pressure within their party to also vote on aid programs like beefed-up unemployment insurance.  Democrats are considering a proposal that would automatically extend jobless benefits to millions of Americans if the economic and health crises continue.  NAW and our allies continue to push Congress for action on PPP expansion, liability protection and an end to the $600 pandemic UI benefit.

Senate Republicans and the White House, meanwhile, are planning to introduce a "skinny" coronavirus relief bill that is expected to include $300 in boosted weekly federal unemployment benefits until December 27th.  The bill would also include liability protections for businesses and more money for schools and COVID-19 testing.  A key sticking point so far has been a Democratic call for almost $1 trillion in aid for state and local authorities, but President Trump says the move would reward what he says are poorly run states.

According to Bloomberg, Speaker Pelosi suggested that Democrats might be willing to make more cuts to their stimulus proposal to seal a deal with Republicans and speed Covid-19 relief, then come back after the November elections with additional agenda items.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, one of the two key Republican negotiators along with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said earlier that he hoped to meet with Pelosi later this week to resume talks.  “Since Speaker Pelosi is coming back to look at Postal, hopefully she will be more interested in sitting down,” Secretary Mnuchin said on CNBC.

You can read the full Bloomberg article HERE.

Latest on President’s Payroll Tax Deferral Executive Order

We reported last week on the President’s payroll tax deferral Executive Order, and employer concerns with that EO.  Although the payroll tax deferral is scheduled to take effect on September 1st, just days from now, neither the Treasury Department nor the IRS has yet issued guidance or regulations necessary for the implementation of the policy.  Nor is there yet any clarity on whether the deferral will be made permanent, and if not, when and on what terms employees would be required to pay the tax.

In fact, Director of the White House National Economic Council Larry Kudlow further confused matters by saying that workers could have so long to pay the tax that “essentially it would be forgiven.”  You can read more of Mr. Kudlow’s comments HERE.

NAW joined with association colleagues in sending a letter to Congressional Leaders and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin opposing the payroll tax deferral plan and urging them to “come together on a path that supports workers instead of burdening hardworking Americans with a large tax bill next year.”  You can read our letter HERE.

Latest on Economic Recovery and Re-Opening the Workplace

As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to impact the United States economy and businesses across the nation, it can be hard to decipher how new regulations and laws may impact your business.  To help you manage these issues NAW is providing information about reports, webinars and seminars that you may find useful:

Distributors: NAW needs input from your customers about disruptive technologies

The pandemic has accelerated the need for distributors to adopt technology in order to meet customer needs.

DISTRIBUTORS: NAW is working with Distribution Strategy Group to get input from distributors’ customers on a range of disruptive technologies: AI, 3D Printing, blockchain and more.

Here is how you can help: Please send a brief survey to your customers — we want input directly from purchasing professionals and other business buyers.  We need to complete this research as quickly as possible, so please email your customers ASAP.  You may access the NAW survey link here, and we’ve also included some text you can use to communicate with your customers.  Thank you!

From Littler Law Firm

Facing Your Face Mask Duties – A List of Statewide Orders

As businesses re-open, face coverings are likely to remain popular as a preventative measure.  This post identifies the jurisdictions where face coverings are recommended or required.  To read more, click HERE.

From Littler Law Firm:

Bouncing Back: A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols

Government officials across the country are easing up on stringent business closures.  This chart provides links to re-opening plans and orders that have been issued thus far, at the statewide level.  To read more, click HERE.

From Littler Law Firm:

Join the 2020 Virtual Benefits Webinar. This complimentary series of engaging and informative courses that will address the most significant issues on which employers should focus with respect to the maintenance and governance of employee benefit plans and how COVID-19 affects workplace benefits.  We kick off the series on August 25 at 12:00 PM Eastern with our first session entitled, “How to Avoid Exposure to COVID-Related Benefit Liabilities and Prepare for Open Enrollment.”

To register, click HERE.

Stateside Associates publishes a daily report about State and Local Government responses to the evolving situation. 

To read their latest report, click HERE.

We are also providing a link to a spreadsheet that includes state and local COVID-19 response information provided by MultiState Associates.

To view their spreadsheet, click HERE.


 

Jade West, Chief Government Relations Officer

Blake Adami, Vice President-Government Relations

Seth Waugh, Associate Vice President-Government Relations

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

 

The above information and links to other information has been prepared by NAW for the general information of NAW members.  It is not intended to, and does not, provide tax, legal or professional advice concerning any specific matter.  You should not act on the information without first obtaining professional advice and counsel.

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