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COVID-19 Update | Wednesday, April 22

April 22, 2020


  • As reported yesterday, the House will consider the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of 2020 tomorrow. The House will convene for legislative business at 10am and we expect recorded votes to begin at 1:30pm EST. The House intends to vote in nine groups to allow for appropriate social distancing. The first eight groups will be alphabetical with the ninth reserved for members that missed their previous voting window.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that a future funding bill will not be passed by Unanimous Consent. Elevate understands from conversations with his staff, leadership writ large in both chambers, and from other members, the next package will take more time to come together, particularly given that Congress is not due back until early May. We still believe that Congress may not return as scheduled on May 4th.
  • Senate Minority Leader Schumer continues to press for a large package and signaled a desire for a stimulus/infrastructure package, including Cash for Clunkers to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has postponed plans to allow proxy voting during the pandemic after House Republicans indicated that they would not vote in favor of the resolution. As a reminder, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had included plans to vote on a temporary rule change to allow proxy voting on the House’s agenda for tomorrow.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that state and local governments should utilize bankruptcy to help deal with burdensome costs due to the pandemic rather than request federal aid. This comment signaled further opposition to the efforts from Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Cassidy (R-LA) on legislation that calls for $500 billion for state and local governments (and is consistent with the bipartisan request from Governors).


  • During his daily press briefing, President Trump announced that he has signed an Executive Order that would put a 60-day pause on immigrants seeking entry into the United States who:
    • Are currently outside the United States;
    • Do not have a valid immigrant visa; or
    • Do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, or boarding foil).
      • Further details, including exceptions, can be found within the full order here.
  • On a conference call with GOP lawmakers on Tuesday, Department of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette indicated that the Administration was considering all options for aid to the oil industry given recent crude oil price volatility. Details about the amount and type of aid have still yet to be announced.
  • United Nations Secretary General António Guterres today called for an end to subsidies for the fossil fuel industry in his International Earth Day message.
  • President Trump announced that the federal government would begin reopening the national parks and public lands which have been closed due to the pandemic. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt noted that the reopening would follow Governor’s orders.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has adjusted operating hours for 100 air traffic control towers across to country to reduce potential spread of the virus among air traffic controllers amid dramatically reduced flight traffic. A final list of the towers to be affected has not yet been released, nor has there been a final indication of what hours affected towers will be closed. A press release notes that certain towers at airports have seen a “significant reduction in flights, especially during the evening and nighttime hours.” Airports across the country are seeing more than a 90 percent year over year drop in traffic.
  • According to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rule posted yesterday, Canada and Mexico have been exempted from new export restrictions on in-demand personal protective equipment.
  • The Trump Administration announced that healthcare providers in COVID-19 hotspots will receive $10 billion in relief funds as soon as next week to help cover the cost of treating uninsured patients.
  • Federal Register Notices
    • The Department of Defense announced an opportunity for the public to provide early inputs on implementation of the CARES Act within the acquisition regulations. The notice can be found here.
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the emissions reporting regulations applicable to sources that monitor and report emissions under the Acid Rain Program, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), and/or the NOX SIP Call to accommodate delayed reporting due to the pandemic. The notice can be found here
    • The Department of Homeland Security has extended its restrictions on travel from Canada into the US except for essential travelers. The full notice can be found here.
    • The Department of Homeland Security extended restrictions on travel from Mexico into the US except for essential travelers. The full notice can be found here.

Other News

  • The National Governors Association released a comprehensive plan for reopening the economy today. The plan encourages a cautious approach to ensure proper testing capabilities and public health measures are in place before people are allowed to reduce social distancing. The full plan is attached.
  • According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Southwest Airlines has received $1.6 billion in payroll aid from the Department of the Treasury, half of the total the airline is expecting to receive in funds from the CARES Act. The rest is set to come in installments over the next three months.
  • Allegiant Airlines, meanwhile, has requested $171.9 million in total, $21.6 million of which will be in the form of a CARES Act loan.
  • Allegiant also applied for $276 million in separate loans.
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