COVID-19 Update | Monday, May 11 (PM)
May 11, 2020
- The House Democrats’ legislation focusing on additional COVID-19 relief may be available as soon as tomorrow.
- Details on when the House will return to potentially vote on COVID-19 relief legislation remain unclear. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told the Democratic caucus on a call this afternoon that the House could still vote Friday.
- Senate Republican Leader McConnell has stated he will not take up the bill at this point.
- Elevate has learned that the Senate Armed Services Committee plans to markup the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the week of June 8. The markup had originally been planned for May 18.
- In the House, the Armed Services Committee originally planned to mark up the legislation on April 30 but has since postponed that executive session.
- Nearly 120 House members and hundreds of organizations continue to put pressure on Congress to include mandatory funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, in addition to billions in funding to address the maintenance backlog in national parks and public lands, in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. A recent letter led by Reps. Joe Neguse (D-CO), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Joe Cunningham (D-SC) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) was sent to House and Senate leadership.
- A vote on the package S. 3422 – The Great American Outdoors Act, led by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Steve Daines (R-MT), was scheduled for March, but was derailed by the pandemic.
- Additionally, more than 800 organizations, including the Defenders of Wildlife, the National Park Foundation, Sierra Club and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, on Monday released a letter to leadership urging them to enact the legislation “as quickly as possible.”
- Reportedly, the White House is requiring all West Wing staff to wear masks any time they are in the building. It is unclear whether the President and Vice President will be following the same guidelines.
- Three oil refineries and a pulp and paper plant are the first to report delaying emissions quality control checks because of the coronavirus pandemic under a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking.
- EPA’s rule allows plant owners to avoid having to use up pollution allowances if they are unable to conduct regularly required quality assurance tests because of access restrictions, personnel shortages or other complications due to the virus and its social distancing requirements.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rescheduled their safety townhall for this Thursday, May 14th from 2 pm to 4 pm. More information on the Town Hall, and sign up, can be found here.
- The American Hotel & Lodging Association, Airlines for America, the American Gaming Association, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the National Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Travel Association and dozens of other trade groups sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday advocating for liability protections for businesses that implement federal public health guidelines related to the transmission of COVID-19.
- As we have been reporting, the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers continue to push for limits on workers and customers’ ability to sue businesses over COVID-19. The American Association for Justice and a coalition of other unions continue to oppose the proposal.
- Liability protections remain a major priority of Senate Republicans and could be one of the central negotiating hurdles to enacting the next COVID-19 relief legislation.
- Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has pledged $10M to fight COVID-19 in prisons during the pandemic.
- Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, has reported a small new cluster of COVID-19 cases more than one month after their lockdown restrictions were eased.
- Tesla on Monday defied the Bay Area’s stay at home order and reopened its factory. CEO Elon Musk has been vocally criticizing the stay at home order and threatening to move his operations to Texas or Nevada. California Governor Gavin Newsom allowed for manufacturing facilities to reopen in California last week, but the six Bay Area counties opted to keep manufacturing facilities in their counties closed.
- The “Big Three” (General Motors, Ford, and Fiat-Chrysler Group) Detroit automakers plan to reopen their facilities in a phased approach beginning next Monday.