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Coronavirus Government Response Update—Executive Orders Extend Pandemic Relief

August 11, 2020

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the ISSA-led coalition’s call to include a healthy workplace tax credit in the next coronavirus relief package, U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order to extend pandemic relief, U.S. manufacturing’s rebound, and more.

ISSA-Led Coalition Calls for Healthy Workplace Tax Credit in Stimulus Package
An ISSA-led coalition of nearly 40 groups urged the U.S. Congress and Trump Administration to include a “healthy workplace” tax credit in the next federal stimulus package to protect the safety of workers, customers, and the public. “These proposals recognize the enormous unexpected costs of creating and maintaining healthy spaces for workers and customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the signatories wrote in a letter to congressional leaders and to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Trump Signs Orders Aimed at Extending Some Pandemic Relief After Congress Fails to Reach Deal
On Saturday, President Trump signed a series of executive orders expanding coronavirus economic aid to Americans who are taking an economic toll during the pandemic. According to CNBC, “The president’s four orders extend unemployment benefits, provide a payroll tax holiday, defer student loan payments through 2020, and extend the federal moratorium on evictions. The orders will quickly face a legal challenge, as continuing the programs would require federal funding, which Congress controls.”

Rise in U.S. Manufacturing Suggests Road to Recovery – but Stay Cautious
Manufacturing and export orders saw an improvement in July, pointing to a hopeful path for recovery. According to the Loadstar, “data released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) show that the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for July climbed for the second month in a row, after a three-month decline, to reach 54.2 (with a reading of 50 or higher indicating growth).” Moreover, production grew 4.8% from June to 62.1, reaching levels not seen since August 2018, and new orders advanced 5.1% to 61.5, earning the highest markings since September 2018. While these numbers bring reassurance, it remains critical to maintain a flexible stance, as the economy’s trajectory will be influenced by the behavior of the pandemic.

New York Governor Cuomo Says All School Districts Across State Authorized to Reopen
On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized all school districts across the state to reopen for the fall semester, New York City included. Seven hundred and forty-nine districts must submit their plan to the New York State Department of Health for keeping children and staff safe while attending in-person classes, according to CNBC. Cuomo said school districts can decide for themselves the mode they would like to conduct classes over: “They can do in-person school, but it is up to them. In-person, hybrid, outdoor education, remote education, a blend, half-day, quarter-day, third-day, that is all up to their discretion.”

Congressional Panel Bashes Fed’s Main Street Lending Program
The Main Street Lending Program, meant to provide low-interest loans to midsize businesses, is “supposed to be a life preserver for midsize companies too big for the Paycheck Protection Program,” according to Roll Call. However, expert after expert at a Congressional Oversight Commission hearing Friday said, “the lending lifeline is falling far short for companies and workers drowning in a coronavirus-ravaged economy.”

Other links of interest:

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