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    Topic Area

    HEALS Act (Republican Proposal)

    HEROES Act (Democrat Proposal)

         

    Unemployment Insurance

    • Extends the enhanced weekly benefits through 12/31/20 at the following amounts:
    • Aug & Sept: $200/week
    • Oct-Dec: A payment (up to $500) that, when combined with the state UI payment, would replace 70% of lost wages. (States may apply for a waiver to continue paying a flat fee through Nov.)
    • Includes $2 billion for state unemployment system upgrades
    • Extension of $600/week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation to January 2021
    • Allows gig workers, independent contractors, part-time & self-employed workers typically ineligible for unemployment insurance to receive insurance (but not the additional pandemic unemployment compensation) through March 2021 (currently set to expire 1/31/21)

     

     

     

    Liability Protection

    • The “Safeguarding America’s Frontline Employees to Offer Work Opportunities Required to Kickstart the Economy Act” (SAFE to WORK Act):
    • Gives exclusive federal cause of action that applies to natural persons, schools, colleges, charities, churches, government agencies, associations, and businesses due to COVID-19. Valid from 12/1/19 –10/1/24
    • Allows cases to be brought in state or federal court, but only one standard of liability applies. Defendants may move cases filed in state court to federal district court
    • Requires plaintiffs show defendant was grossly negligent OR engaged in willful misconduct & violated state/local public health guidelines in place at time of the incident
    • Limits compensatory damages to economic losses and prohibits punitive damages, except in cases involving intentional misconduct

    N/A

     

     

     

    Labor & Employment Law Liability

    • Protects employers from liability under federal labor and employment laws (including ADA, OSHA, and Civil Rights Act of 1964) for actions taken to comply with Coronavirus-related public-health guidance and regulations

    N/A

     

     

     

    Paycheck Protection Program—Forgiveness

    • Streamlined loan forgiveness for small loans <$150k
    • Intermediate forgiveness process for loans <$2 million
    • Expands eligible expenses that qualify for forgiveness to include covered operations expenditures, property damage costs, covered supplier costs, and covered worker protection expenditures
    • Expansion of loan forgiveness terms, but no streamlined forgiveness based on loan amount
    • Amendments to PPP Loan Forgiveness include:
    • Added flexibility for borrowers by extending the 8-week period to a 24-week period
    • Eliminates the 75/25 rule on use of loan proceeds
    • Clarifies the hold harmless provision for lenders

     

     

     

     

    Small Businesses—Other PPP Provisions

    • “Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act” provides:
    • Second round of PPP loans of up to $2 million available for businesses under 300 workers or other small businesses with 50% lost revenue (smaller loan size than last round)
    • PPP set-asides for small entities, including those with fewer than 10 employees ($2 billion) and community institutions ($10 billion)
    • New loan program providing working capital loans for small businesses as an alternative to a second PPP loan
    • Simplifies the forgiveness application process for small loans
    • New allowable loan uses, which include working capital, acquisition of fixed assets, and refinancing existing indebtedness
    • Hold harmless provision for PPP lenders that no enforcement action could be taken against a lender who in good faith relief on borrower certifications or documentation
    • PPP eligibility expanded to all nonprofits
    • Funding set-asides focused on underserved communities and nonprofits
    • Expanded data collection requirements including total amount of fees paid to lenders
    • Improved coordination between PPP and Employee Retention Tax Credit
    • Expands the pool of available capital for small firms by increasing the annual lending limit of the 7(a) program from $30 billion to $75 billion
    • Ensures the principal and interest loan assistance is not treated as taxable income to small business borrowers

     

     

     

    State and Local Funding

    • No additional state/local aid; however, additional flexibility on state money granted through CARES Act
    • $1 trillion to state and local governments, including:
    • $500 billion for state fiscal relief
    • $375 billion for local fiscal relief

     

     

     

    Back to School/Work

    • “Safely Back to School and Back to Work Act” will provide:
    • Work Child Care Grants that will help parents go back to work by providing:
    • Short-term assistance to child care centers, operators, providers
    • Critical resources to states to help child care providers reopen and stay open
    • Safe environments for children
    • Emergency Education Freedom Grants that will provide funding for scholarships for students to use towards educational expenses
    • “American Workers, Families, and Employers Assistance Act” provides:
    • Improvements to Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation to better match lost wages
    • Work Opportunity Tax credit (WOTC) which offers expanded access to the elective tax credit for hiring employers
    • “COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020” will require:
    • Employers to develop and implement a COVID-19 exposure control plan
    • Requires employers to comply with OSHA regulations
    • Prohibits retaliation against workers for reporting health and safety hazards.
    • Increases funding for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) which provides funding for child and family care for essential workers
    • Provides emergency flexibility for child welfare programs
    • Amends the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act by extending the benefits from 12/21/2020 –  12/31/2021
    • Amends the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act by extending the applicability from 12/31/2020 – 12/31/2021, as well as eliminates the large employer exemption and clarifies that nonprofit organizations are covered employees. It also ensures both full-time and part-time employees can earn full wage replacement

     

     

     

    Economic Impact Payments

    • Second round of stimulus payments under same terms as CARES:
    • Max amount: $1,200 for singles & $2,400 for married couples, with up to $500/child (no age limit on child dependents unlike previous bill)
    • Single filers making ≤$75,000 & married couples filing jointly making ≤$150,000 receive full payment with phase out to incomes up to $99,000 and $198,000 (with no dependents), respectively
    • Prohibits garnishment withholding
    • Second round of stimulus payments similar to CARES, but with more money for dependents:
    • Max amount: $1,200 for singles & $2,400 for joint filers, with up to $1,200/child (max of $6,000 per household)
    • Single filers making ≤$75,000 & married couples filing jointly making ≤$150,000 receive full payment with phase out to incomes up to $99,000 and $198,000 (with no dependents), respectively
    • Prohibits garnishment withholding
    • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  and Child Tax Credit (CTC) Expansion

     

     

     

    Consumer/Employee Protection

    • Streamlines federal student loan repayment to two options: (1) a standard, 10-year mortgage-style repayment plan; or (2) an income-based repayment plan dependent on the borrower’s annual income
    • Suspension of negative consumer credit reporting in declared national disasters, including COVID-19
    • Moratorium on consumer debt collection with specified consumer repayment options when payments resume
    • $200 billion in hazard pay to essential workers
    • Expands new COVID-19 paid leave policies to all employers & extends temporary provisions until December 2021
    • Extends suspended interest/payments for most federal student loans through 9/30/2021 & cancels up to $10,000 in debt for some federal & private loans

     

     

     

    Domestic Manufacturing

    • The “Restoring Critical Supply Chains and Intellectual Property Act” helps facilitate the availability, development, and production or domestic resources to meet national PPE and material needs.
    • The “United States Manufacturing Availability of Domestic Equipment Act” (U.S. MADE Act) provides investment credits for PPE manufacturers
    • The “Safeguarding American Innovation Act” establishes a Federal Research Security Council that will establish a strategic plan to protect the national and economic security interests of the United States
    • The “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act” (CHIPS for America Act) creates semiconductor incentive grants and will advance semiconductor research and design.

     

    • Requires the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to hold a symposium to discuss recommendations to encourage domestic manufacturing of certain drugs

     

     

     

    Health Care Provisions

    • Relaxes the terms of loans from Medicare
    • Ensures that Medicare telehealth options don’t expire before Congress can determine what should be made permanent
    • Extends for five years the CARES Act provision that pays clinics and health centers for telehealth in order to meet the health care needs in rural America
    • Freezes Medicare premiums at 2020 levels to head off a predicted spike next year
    • Emergency support for nursing homes
    • Further increases Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) by an additional 14 % for the period of 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021
    • Provides increased funding for Home and Community Based Services through Medicaid
    • Temporarily increases Medicaid allotments for disproportionate share hospitals by 2.5%
    • Provides $25 million to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in both the Medicaid and Medicare programs

     

     

     

    Renter/Homeowner Provisions

    N/A

    • $75 billion homeowner assistance fund
    • $100 billion rental assistance program
    • 12 month eviction & 6 month foreclosure moratorium
    • Modifies CARES Act forbearance requirements & specifies loan modifications & loss mitigation available to homeowners
    • Establishes a mortgage servicer liquidity facility

     

     

     

    Retirement Provisions

    N/A

    • Relief for multiemployer pension plans
    • Relief for single employer pension plans

     

     

     

    Select Appropriations Provisions

    • $25 billion for hospitals/providers
    • $20 billion for vaccine-related measures
    • $29.4 billion for defense
    • $20 billion for farmers
    • $15 billion for child care
    • $1.5 billion for NASA
    • $150 million for FEMA
    • $1.222 billion in loan authority for USCIS
    • $1.6 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    • $3.4 billion to the CDC to support federal, state, and local public health agencies
    • $15.5 billion to the NIH
    • $4.5 billion to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • $16.7 billion to provide supportive and social services for families and children
    • $78.1 billion for Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, including:
    • $25 billion for Provider Relief Fund
    • $16 billion for testing and contact tracing
    • $6 billion for vaccine distribution
    • $2 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile
    • $105 billion to the Department of Education to help get all students back to school including:
    • $5 billion for the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund
    • $70 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
    • 1/3 going to all K-12 schools regardless of their plans next year
    • 2/3 directed at K-12 schools with a physical reopening plan that is approved by the governor
    • $29 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
    • $4.01 billion to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
    • $10.151 billion for transportation, including:
    • $75 million to Essential Air Service (EAS)
    • $50 million to FAA operations
    • $10 billion to Airport Improvement Program (AIP)
    • $2.2 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
    • $1 billion for Public Housing Operating Fund
    • $100 billion for hospitals/providers
    • $3.5 billion for vaccine-related measures
    • Marginal funding for defense
    • $100 million for farmers
    • Democrats are currently updating their child care funding
    • $1.3 billion to FEMA
    • $10 billion for SNAP
    • $600 million in Pandemic Justice Response Act Grants
    • $2.1 billion to the CDC to support federal, state, and local public health agencies
    • $4.745 billion to the NIH
    • $3 billion to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • $10.1 billion to provide supportive and social services for families and children
    • $175 billion for Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, including:
    • $100 billion in grants for hospitals and health care providers
    • $75 billion for testing, contact tracing, etc.
    • $10 billion in grants to small businesses
    • $1 billion to CDFIs
    • $1.5 billion for increased broadband $100.15 billion to Department of Education, including:
    • $90 billion for a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
    • $10.15 billion for colleges
    • $2 billion to support worker training
    • $925 million to assist states in processing unemployment insurance claims
    • $7.6 billion to support expanded health care services for underserved populations
    • $25 billion for Postal Service
    • $3.6 billion for grants to States for planning and preparing for elections
    • $31 billion for transportation (no funding for airports, but provides Airport & Airway Trust Fund relief), including:
    • $75 million for FAA operations
    • $15 billion for highways
    • $15.75 billion for transit emergency relief
    • $4 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
    • $2 billion for Public Housing Operating Fund
    • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grant
    • $100 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance
    • $11.5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants

     

     

     

    Tax Provisions

    • Mobile Workforce legislation to standardize state tax liability for work travel, and a temporary solution for state tax withholding rules for large employers with remote workers
    • Refundable payroll tax credit for employer purchasing testing, PPE & certain other safety supplies
    • Expanded Employee Refundable Tax Credit for employers with significant decrease in receipts
    • Elimination of the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) cap for 2020 and 2021 tax years
    • Expansion of the employee retention tax credit (ERTC)
    • Changes to the net operating loss (NOL) provisions

     

     

     

    Additional Provisions

    • The “Supporting America’s Restaurant Workers Act” provides an increase business meal reduction from 50% to 100%
    • The “Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts Act” (Trust Act of 2020) would create a process to provide economic relief to each of the major endangered trust funds, such as the Highway Trust Fund, Social Security Old-Age & Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, and Medicare Part A.
    • Subsidizes 100% of COBRA premiums for workers who would otherwise lose job-based coverage due to loss of employment or reduction in hours worked
    • Includes the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act, which requires the president to use all available authorities under the Defense Production Act to mobilize a federal response to the pandemic

     


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