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COVID-19 Upate | Tuesday, April 7

April 7, 2020


  • Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would work with  Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a deal to increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has been massively oversubscribed since it opened last week, by $250 billion, adding to the initial $350 billion in funding.  
    • His goal is to pass this increase in funding by Unanimous Consent in the Senate on Thursday.
    • Negotiations are likely to include Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD).
    • While Congress is in recess through April 20th, the Senate is in pro forma session on Thursday which would allow the Senate to pass legislation if there was agreement by all Senators.
    • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has also spoken to all four Congressional party leaders about the proposal. 
    • This narrow approach excludes a number of priority issues for Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats. Due to politics surrounding a narrow package passage, it is unclear whether this attempt will be successful.
    • §  Notwithstanding the success of a narrow package passing on Thursday, Elevate believes that there will be multiple relief packages forthcoming providing an opportunity to address issues related to unemployment insurance, aid for hospitals and states and other areas like 501 (c)(6) eligibility for the PPP as well as definitions related to small businesses, affiliated businesses and other graduated employee programs.   
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer today released a Senate Democrats’ Proposal for Pandemic Premium Pay to Reward, Retain, and Recruit Essential Workers. It’s referred to as the “COVID-19 Heroes Fund.”


  • The Trump Administration and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have not met the scheduled deadline of last Monday to deliver grants to airlines from the CARES Act. The deadline to apply was this past Friday. Reports indicate that Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines applied for the relief.   
  • We believe there will be movement on the aviation applications for airlines, cargo and contractors this week.
  • The Administration continues to assert the need for warrants for the grant programs for air carriers and other institutions under the aviation grant programs, which made warrants discretionary. There has been a significant push against the imposition of warrants for grants by applicants and Congress. While the Administration is still holding firm on the need for warrants for grants, we believe there will be an easing of its position that will acknowledge the realities of the business and political climate.  
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is making it harder for employees to take time off during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the increased need for Border Patrol support, according to the union representing CBP officers. 
  • Acting  Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday following fallout over his derogatory remarks to the crew of the COVID-19-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt regarding its former Commander on Sunday. 
  • A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort. But Trump on Monday removed Fine from his post, instead naming an EPA inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog. 
  • The Energy Department’s statistical arm said on Tuesday it expected U.S. crude oil production to drop by nearly 500,000 barrels a day in 2020 because of the steep decline in prices and fuel demand, reversing its forecast from last month that U.S. output would rise to a record level this year. The Kansas City Fed warned that 40% of the oil and gas companies in its region would go under if oil prices don’t recover.
  • White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham will leave her position as President Donald Trump’s chief spokeswoman, a source familiar with the move said Tuesday. 
  • Multiple agencies today issued revised interagency statements on loan modifications by financial institutions working with customers affected by COVID-19. More information can be found here.  
  • The Department of Transportation today released their final airline minimum service order as required by the CARES Act, which can be found attached. The order sets minimum service requirements for airlines that receive COVID-19-related aid from the government. The final order largely mirrors the draft order that was previously released but does have some modifications to address concerns that were raised by smaller and low-cost carriers with more seasonal traffic.  

Other News

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today released a policy statement outlining the responsibility of credit reporting companies and furnishers during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.  
  • Visitor and cargo volumes across the Canadian border have dropped precipitously over the last few weeks, by 87% through land and 96% by sea, from March 30th to April 5th, compared to last year’s levels. Truck traffic has dropped by 29% in the same time period. 
  • Year over year airline travel as measured by TSA throughput is down in excess of 95% nationwide. 
  • The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has announced changes to the fee structure of its Delegated Authority (DA) loans and Fast Track Loans. More information can be found here.  
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