On August 8, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum, which establishes a “lost wages assistance program” to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by dipping into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).
Following the enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) to state that employers whose Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan has been fully or partially forgiven are now eligible to defer the deposit of the employer portion of Social Security tax.
On May 12, 2020, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the latest effort to respond to the ongoing coronavirus health care crisis. Among other provisions, the $3 trillion relief package would provide $1 trillion in aid to states, $75 billion for coronavirus testing and related healthcare measures, and another round of direct stimulus payments to individuals.
On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which will allocate over $480 billion in additional funding for the federal COVID-19 response.
On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously (96-0) to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as an attempt to stabilize the U.S. economy disruptions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act aims to boost the economy with over $2 trillion in tax and non-tax emergency aid provided to individuals and businesses. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill on March 27, 2020, which is now pending presidential signature.
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S. House of Representative’s “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” by a vote of 90-8, and President Trump signed the act into law the same day. The law does not contain any changes to the House versions of the legislation that were passed on March 14, 2020, and March 16, 2020. Next up will be “Phase 3” of Congress’s response to COVID-19, which will likely center around a massive economic stimulus.
On March 16, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved new legislative text for the emergency coronavirus bill. The amendments to the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (H.R. 6201) were intended to correct drafting errors that occurred while the House cobbled together its coronavirus bill over the weekend.