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COVID-19 Update | Thursday, March 19 (PM-2)

March 19, 2020


  • The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) put out a notification this afternoon outlining 16 critical industries in which employees should maintain their regular work schedules in order to “ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure.” CISA is in charge of DHS’s statutory responsibilities to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
    • The below graphic outlines what CISA has identified as these 16 critical industries, but a more detailed breakdown can be found at the hyperlink above:
  • The Department of Energy has requested $3 billion from Congress to allow for the purchase of 30 million barrels of oil to beef up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and blunt the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the oil industry.


  • Senator McConnell officially introduced the attached text of the Republicans’ trillion-dollar proposal late Thursday, which will commence formal negotiations with the Democrats.
  • Democrat and Republican priorities for this third package are further apart than on the previous two packages and could affect how quickly the package is able to pass the Senate.
    • According to published reports, the Senate Republican package includes the following:
      • Issues direct payments of $1,200 to Americans making less than $75,000 annually in an effort provide economic relief during the coronavirus outbreak.
      • Provisions to give small businesses federally guaranteed loans.
      • Lends to hard-hit industries such as airlines.
        • The Senate Republican-led Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was included as part of 2020 as part of the broader Senate economic response package. The legislation allows the Treasury Secretary to provide up to $208 billion in collateralized loans and loan guarantees to American industries whose operations are jeopardized as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak. $58 billion is allocated to facilitate liquidity in the airline sector.
      • Extends the tax filing deadline to July 15.
      • We will share more information as we learn and review more.
    • Senate Democrats are looking for:
      • Rules preventing corporations from getting government aid and then firing employees, cutting salaries or reducing benefits, as well as prohibitions on the money being used to buy back stock or reward executives.
      • A large amount of federal resources to rebuild and strengthen health infrastructure, including for hospitals and covering medical supplies like nasal swabs and protective masks.
      • A new type of unemployment assistance that covers all workers, including those in the gig economy. That beefed-up compensation would come closer to fully paying workers’ lost wages.
      • All employees and independent contractors to get 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public emergency and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, reimbursed in full by the federal government.
        • Also, Democrats are pushing for permanent accrual of seven paid sick days.
      • The Department of Education to make monthly student loan payments on behalf of borrowers during emergency declarations. The Administration would have to pay off at least $10,000 of a person’s student loans.
      • Higher amounts and more frequent payments to individual Americans than have been floated by the Administration and Senate Republicans to date.
  • In the House, drafting also continues on a counter-offer to the Senate package.
    • Reports indicate that House Democrats are seeking up to $150 billion to replenish agency budgets for those that have been fighting the outbreak. As a reminder, the Administration earlier this week requested $46 billion for the same purpose.
  • Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are also requesting an extension for the tax filing deadline in addition to the payment relief that Secretary Mnuchin announced earlier this week.
    • House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal (D-MA) today wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requesting an extension in the filing deadline to July 15.
    • Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Angus King (I-ME) have also introduced S.3535, which would do the same.
  • At this time, the House is not expected to return to Washington, DC until the Senate has passed the third package.
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