COVID-19 Update | Monday, July 6 (PM)
July 6, 2020
- Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced S. 4162, the Airport Infrastructure Readiness (AIR) Act. The bill would provide aid to airports by changing funding formulas for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) by calculating funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and FY 2023 based on either 2018 or 2019 enplanement numbers, rather than 2020 and 2021 enplanement numbers which are expected to be significantly lower due to COVID-19. A press release on the bill can be found here and bill text can be found here.
- Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mike Braun (R-IN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Doug Jones (D-AL) introduced S. 4201, the Rural Broadband Acceleration Act, which would speed up the allocation of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). A press release on the bill can be found here.
- Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) introduced H.R. 7484, the Preventing China From Exploiting COVID-19 Act. The bill would require the United States government to analyze and combat efforts by the Chinese government to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill is supported by multiple members of the Blue Dog Coalition, including Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Max Rose (D-NY), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Ed Case (D-HI), Ben McAdams (D-UT), Luis Correa (D-CA), Jared Golden (D-ME), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Joe Cunningham (D-SC). A press release on the bill can be found here and bill text can be found here.
- Funding numbers for some of the House Appropriations bills for FY 2021 were released today. The process of marking up and negotiating the funding for 12 different bills usually takes months and starts before July, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will all be done in a narrower time period. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) wants to have all 12 bills passed before the August recess, and has said he is willing to delay recess for that to happen. The topline figures for the bills that have been released so far are included below.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, released detailed loan-level data regarding the loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The data shows:
- Around 4.9M PPP loans have been made totaling more than $520B;
- More than 51M jobs and over 80% of all small business employees have been supported through the PPP;
- 86.5% of all loans were for less than $150,000; and
- The top 15 PPP lenders were all banks.
- The full spreadsheet that includes all PPP loans over $150,000 that have been granted can be found here. The spreadsheet includes information about each business that received a PPP loan and classifies them by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.
- More information on NAICS codes can be found here.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that he will not be attend a meeting in the United States this week to celebrate the beginning of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal. Trudeau cited the pandemic and new threats of tariffs from the Trump Administration as reasons he would not attend the meeting.
- On Wednesday July 15, Senior Administration Officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) will hold a virtual round table discussion titled “Industries of the Future: Strengthening American competitiveness through technological innovation in advanced manufacturing.”
- On July 20, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Association of Metropolitan Planning Organization (AMPO) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will host a webinar on leveraging transit asset management data and the metropolitan planning process. Registration for the event, titled “Improving Transit System State of Good Repair and Reliability” can be found here.
- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant international students taking online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the Fall 2020 semester. International F-1 and M-1 students attending schools that will be operating entirely online in the fall will not be allowed to take a full online course load and remain in the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction, in order to remain in the U.S. legally. If not, they may face immigration consequences including deportation. A full press release can be found here.
- The biotechnology company Regeneron announced that they are progressing to the third stage of a COVID-19 double antibody treatment that can be used to treat and prevent COVID-19. This phase of the trial will assess the drug’s ability to prevent infection among uninfected people who’ve been in close proximity to an infected person. This trial is being jointly run with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). A full press release can be found here.