AN UPDATE FROM NAW GOVERNMENT RELATIONS TEAM - 7.31

As of today, there are no new updates regarding the Paycheck Protection Program or the Main Street Lending Program.  We will continue to monitor any new developments and send you critical updates as they occur.

Latest on the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act)

Both the House and Senate have adjourned until next Monday, as Congress failed to reach an agreement on extending extra unemployment benefits that are set to expire today.  Many employers – including many NAW members – report that the bonus payment has made it difficult for them to hire or re-hire workers.  Congress and the White House are still painfully deadlocked over the next stimulus bill, with at least 20 Senate Republicans pledging to vote "no" on another massive relief package no matter what.

According to an article in the Washington Post, the White House is willing to cut a deal with Democrats that leaves out Senate Republican’s liability protection legislation aimed at protecting employers, hospitals and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits, according to two people with knowledge of internal White House planning.  To read the full article, click HERE.

The apparent willingness of the White House to abandon the fight for liability protection is disappointing.  NAW is on the Steering Committee of the business coalition fighting for inclusion of liability language in the next COVID relief bill and helped obtain signatures on a letter supporting S. 4317, the “SAFE TO WORK” Act.  There were close to 500 signatures on the letter – including several dozen NAW member associations – which you can read HERE

On the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that Republicans wanted to continue the $600 weekly enhanced aid before it expired, though Democrats blocked their attempt at passing such a measure.  Late last night, the White House offered Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer a straight four-month extension of the pandemic $600 payment and the Democrats rejected the offer, demanding instead an unemployment insurance extension well into 2021.

The Senate Republican’s version of the next coronavirus aid package, the HEALS Act, would provide for a temporary extra unemployment insurance payment of $200 a week.  That flat payment would continue until states adjusted their systems to offer an amount equal to 70 percent of each person’s previous wages.  But the Republican caucus remains in an internal stalemate over various aspects of the package.

The leading Republican proposal on unemployment insurance, offered by Senator Ron Johnson, would renew federal unemployment payments at 66 percent of lost wages, or $200 per week.  In addition to Senator Johnson’s proposal, Senator Mitt Romney plans to offer an alternative bill that would give states two options for three months of extra unemployment aid: either 80 percent wage replacement or flat payments of $500 a week, which would gradually decrease to $400 in September and $300 in October.  An article in Politico provides an in-depth look into the ongoing negotiations that are currently taking place between the White House, Senate Republicans and Democrat Leaders in the House.  To read the full article, click 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:

As part of NAW’s new thought leadership series to help distributors thrive through the turbulence:

“How Technology Will Transform Wholesale Distribution”

Watch this NAW Webinar on Demand: 

“The Coming Storm of Converging Technologies” with Ian Heller of Distribution Strategy Group, and download the 20-page research report

Register for Ian Heller’s next webinar in this series on August 18:

“Distributors’ Views on Technology Disruption and How to Respond”

From Reed Smith Law Firm: Updated COVID-19 FAQs for New York employers

Please see an updated version of our FAQs as of July 25, 2020.  We have compiled FAQs concerning New York’s COVID-19-related health and safety protocols for businesses across the state.  These protocols apply to all New York businesses – regardless of size, location, whether the business has physically re-opened, or whether it was deemed “essential” –...… Continue Reading

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.

 Issues Unrelated to COVID-19

Senate confirms two members to the National Labor Relations Board:

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marvin Kaplan and Lauren McFerran to the National Labor Relations Board.  Kaplan currently serves on the Board, but his term was due to expire on August 10th.  His new term will expire in 2025.  McFerran previously served on the NLRB, but her term expired in December of 2019; she will now hold one of the two open Democratic seats.  With these confirmations, Republicans hold a 3-1 majority on the Board, and it is likely that the Republican majority will last until at least the end of 2021 regardless of who wins the Presidential election in November.


 

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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