By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs
During the past 10 days, the American people and our industry have been confronted with unprecedented challenges regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. PHCC is working hard to ensure communication with its membership, and the continuity of services and operations. Since the pandemic started, PHCC’s government affairs team continues to advocate vigorously for our industry and remains committed to:
- keeping lines of communication open with federal policymakers;
- keeping track of legislative and executive branch activity as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic so you can stay informed of the impact this is expected to have on our industry;
- urging federal lawmakers to ensure nonprofit associations are eligible for economic stimulus for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- urging leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure plumbers and mechanical contractors are considered “essential services” to be exempted from any mandates that require people to stay home from work. Go here to send a message to your state and federal representatives.
What is Congress and the Administration doing?
Congress has already passed, and the president signed an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill (H.R.6074 Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act) providing immediate funds for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to confront the immediate public health threats posed by COVID-19, procure medical supplies, develop vaccines, and provide assistance to state and local health agencies. This is being referred to as “Phase 1.”
“Phase 2” – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201)– was just passed by the U.S. Senate moments ago and is expected to be signed by the president.
“Phase 3” will be an economic stimulus package expected to inject approximately $1 trillion into the U.S. economy. The legislation is still in the drafting stages but is expected to provide direct and expeditious assistance to businesses and individuals. Congress is also expected to pass this legislation this week. PHCC will keep you posted on the latest developments.
Is the PHCC 2020 Legislative Conference Still going to happen on May 19-20 in Washington, DC?
We are monitoring the situation (which is quite fluid at this point) and keeping our options open. We will keep everyone posted as the picture becomes clearer. The status of the meeting is also posted on the events page for this conference.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself and My Business?
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers several loan programs should you need financial assistance. More information can be found here.
You should also reach out to your state and federal leaders and let them know that plumbing and mechanical contractors provide essential services and whose employees should be exempt from any government mandates that would keep them away from their workplace. Go here to tell your legislators where you stand.
Contact Director of Legislative Affairs, Mark Valentini or Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Chuck White at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding PHCC’s advocacy efforts.
Director of Legislative Affairs , PHCC-National Association